A man in California has been arrested after allegedly attempting to defraud investors with a made-up company. In 2014, the man launched a company called CH4 Power that he claimed would turn cow manure into a safe, renewable form of energy. The equipment would reportedly “digest” the cow manure and turn it into natural methane gas, which the company would sell to interested parties. The man claimed that he would build equipment in California and Idaho.
The company attracted so much attention that the man secured over $8 million from investors. According to the man, the investors would see a return on their investment when he started selling the natural gas for a profit. Unfortunately, according to media reports, the company and equipment didn’t exist. Instead, the man allegedly used the investors’ money to fund his personal lifestyle, including a new house and multiple vehicles.
Six years after the company launched, the man was arrested on multiple charges of mail and wire fraud. He was also charged with money laundering and identity theft.
The wire fraud charge carries several years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, the money laundering charge carries another several years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines. The man could face another two years in prison if convicted of identity theft. Currently, the FBI and two major U.S. attorneys are involved in the case. Overall, the man has been charged with 24 counts of various white-collar crimes.
What should you do if you’re accused of mail fraud?
While the seriousness of white-collar crimes is often underplayed, being accused of mail fraud can threaten to destroy your career and reputation. Having an attorney on your team may help you protect yourself from false accusations. Additionally, an attorney may manage your case and offer valuable legal advice.