A month ago, we reported on news that local Utah company Washake Renewable Energy had fraudulently obtained millions in government renewable energy grants to create energy that the company, in fact, never actually made.
This month brings news of yet another Utah company fraudulently profiting off of renewable energy claims that are completely bogus. This time, the feds have accused RaPower-3 LLC and International Automated System Inc. of selling renewable energy tax credits to customers. The companies told customers they could claim tax credits for a “revolutionary new” solar power technology located in Millard County. It turns out that the company’s “solar thermal lenses” were nothing but stretched plastic that, according to the Department of Justice, “do not and will not produce solar energy that could be collected and used for any purpose.” The DOJ says that the ”so-called technology is a sham.”
Not surprisingly, the scam was perpetrated using multilevel marketing techniques. Buyers of the credits were promised huge tax credits for a small investment. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it was.
Although the federal government has disallowed the tax-credit claims, the IRS has already spent $4 million in legal fees challenging the claims. In other words, the rest of us get to pay for the privilege of cleaning up this mess.
As we lamented with the Washake Renewable Energy scandal, if just one honest person on the inside had blown the whistle earlier, the whole thing could’ve been stopped and the whistleblower may have been rewarded for fulfilling his or her civic duty.