Alleged biodiesel RIN fraud fugitive Rivkin caught, indicted
When a raid on the Fuel Streamers and Green Diesel LLC offices was executed in July 2012 after issuance of a Notice of Violation from U.S. EPA in April 2012 for generating more than 60 million fraudulent RINs, owner Phil Rivkin was nowhere to be found. At the time, a former employee of Rivkin told Biodiesel Magazine, “The CEO moved to Europe unexpectedly in late 2011 and left the U.S. operation high and dry—no money, no management team, no nothing. He never addressed this situation with his employees, but just seemed to move on with his life, leaving a trail of unpaid bills and lawsuits behind him.”
Early this year, a source told Biodiesel Magazine that Rivkin was going by Felipe Poitan Arriaga and was residing in Guatemala, the country from where Rivkin was ultimately deported this month for fraudulently securing Guatemalan citizenship, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Last week a federal grand jury in Houston, Texas, indicted the 49-year-old Rivkin. The 68-count indictment against him includes allegations of wire and mail fraud, Clean Air Act false statements and money laundering.
In addition to the egregious RIN fraud allegations, Rivkin is also alleged to have bilked the federal government out of the $1 per gallon blenders tax credit for fictitious production. The indictment goes on to allege that the defendant created false records and made false statements to conceal his fraudulent claims of biodiesel production, importation and RIN generation. Finally, the indictment alleges that the defendant laundered the proceeds of his crimes, using banking institutions and complex financial transactions to benefit from the illegal funds he received, and to attempt to protect these funds from government enforcement. The indictment includes a notice of forfeiture to include: cash in excess of $29 million; three vehicles including a Lamborghini, Maserati, and a Bentley; a Canadair LTD airplane; and millions of dollars worth of artwork that was previously seized from Rivkin in 2012 and is now included in a civil action for forfeiture.