Pennsylvania biofuel producers indicted over RIN fraud

May 4, 2017 |

In Pennsylvania, a Pennsylvania biofuel producer and two of its officers have been indicted on conspiracy and false statements charges for participating in a scheme that generated over $10 million in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) renewable fuels credits (RIN credits) at Keystone Biofuels, Inc., a company that purported to produce and sell biodiesel for use as transportation fuel.

Ben Wootton, 52, of Enola, Pennsylvania; Race Miner, 48, of Buena Vista, Colorado; and Keystone Biofuels, Inc. were indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Wednesday.

According to the indictment, Wootton and Miner were co-owners of Keystone Biofuels, Inc. located in Shiremanstown, Pennsylvania and later in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Wootton, serving as President of Keystone Biofuels and Miner, serving as Chief Executive Officer, are alleged to have participated in a scheme with other coconspirators to fraudulently claim RIN credits on non-qualifying renewable fuel. Although the credits required that the fuel pass standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the fuel produced by Keystone did not meet this standard, the grand jury alleges, and was placed into commerce despite being “off-spec.” The conspirators also allegedly generated fraudulent documentation and manipulated samples to be sent to laboratories for testing as part of their scheme. Keystone, Wootton and Miner also allegedly made false entries into an EPA tracking system in violation of the Clean Air Act.

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