Biofuels scam allegations against company widen to fraud

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana company whose president was indicted last fall in an alleged biofuels scam prosecutors say cost the government and investors more than $100 million now faces a separate investigation by federal environmental regulators.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a notice of violations against Evansville-based Imperial Petroleum and its wholly owned subsidiary, Middletown, Ind.-based e-Biofuels.

The EPA’s notices contend that both companies are liable for e-Biofuels’ alleged generation of more than 33.5 million invalid renewable fuel tax credits, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

A message from The Associated Press seeking comment left at Imperial Petroleum’s office Sunday was not immediately returned.

Renewable fuels: Fake biofuel credits prompt push for better screening system

The EPA alleges that e-Biofuels generated more than 33.5 million invalid fuel credits “from at least July 1, 2010, through June 2, 2011,” and transferred most of those fuel credits, also called Renewable Identification Numbers, to producers or importers of renewable fuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.

The agency’s notices offer e-Biofuels and Imperial Petroleum the chance to discuss the matter with the EPA.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA can assess a civil penalty of up to $37,500 per day, per violation.

An EPA spokeswoman told the newspaper that the agency does not comment on ongoing investigations or enforcement actions.

Imperial Petroleum’s president, Jeffrey Wilson, was indicted in September along with Craig Ducey, e-Biofuels’ former president, in the alleged biofuels scam. Ducey and Wilson are scheduled to stand trial in federal court in Indianapolis on March 14.

Also on FuelFix:

The secret, dirty cost of Obama’s green power push