Man Embezzles $9M in Manure-to-Power Scheme


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Properly, this stinks. A Montana man has pleaded responsible to wire fraud, cash laundering, and id theft expenses after his scheme to show cow manure into inexperienced power was uncovered.

From early 2014 by means of the top of 2019, Ray Brewer took practically $9 million from buyers by convincing them he was constructing anaerobic digesters on dairy farms in California and Idaho. As an alternative of constructing the machines, Brewer cast lease agreements with dairy farms, altered financial institution agreements to make it appear he had procured loans for the development, and cast offers with firms to make it seem as if he had a income stream.

Brewer even took buyers on excursions of dairy farms the place he mentioned he deliberate to arrange store and supplied them with pretend building schedules.

However Brewer by no means adopted by means of on any of his guarantees and as an alternative used the cash to purchase himself massive plots of land, a customized constructed residence and new Dodge Ram pickup vans.

After buyers caught on and filed a civil go well with in opposition to Brewer, he moved to Montana and assumed a brand new id. However now he’s going through a number of expenses that carry most penalties of as much as 20 years in federal jail and fines as excessive as $500,000.

The query is, if Brewer had really made good on his plans, would it not have labored? And the reply is, possibly? Based on the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace, anaerobic digesters use microorganisms to interrupt down biodegradable materials and switch it into methane, which might then be offered on the open market as inexperienced power. The methane additionally produces Renewable Power Credit, which might be offered to firms trying to meet inexperienced power regulatory necessities.

However as The Counter factors out, anaerobic digesters are extremely costly to construct and preserve and typically don’t produce sufficient power for farms to have the ability to promote the surplus again to the grid. Additionally, the manufacturing course of and the methane burning each make a whole lot of carbon dioxide, which is launched into the ambiance.



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