Federal officials say a Maryland man got rich by selling $9 million dollars in fraudulent renewable energy credits. Rodney Hailey, the owner of Clean Green Fuel, is charged with fraud and money laundering under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Maryland says Clean Green Fuel, a company that claimed to produce biodiesel, did not make any of the alternative fuel. Instead, the complaint alleges the owner simply made up fake “renewable identification numbers” used to sell credits to energy companies. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein announced the charges against Hailey today through a press release.
“Oil companies bought RIN’s in order to comply with EPA regulations requiring them to support the production of renewable fuel,” said Rosenstein.
Biodiesel is a renewable energy source often made from vegetable oils collected from restaurants and used to power cars and trucks. In order to comply with federal regulations on the use of renewable energy, conventional oil companies will often buy credits from other sources.
The Philadelphia office of the Environmental Protection Agency helped investigate the case. The EPA says Rodney Hailey used the $9 million dollars in energy credits to buy a long list of luxury cars including several BMW’s, Mercedez Benz’, a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Maserati, as well as real estate and jewelry.