Gen-X's Estes sentenced to nearly 9 years in federal prison

By U.S. Department of Justice | February 02, 2017

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Richard Estes, age 77, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced, after having previously pled guilty Dec. 16, 2015, to conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. sentenced Estes to a term of imprisonment of 105 months, to be followed by a three-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. In addition, Estes was ordered to pay $4.36 million in restitution to U.S. taxpayers.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Estes was a member of a conspiracy involving Gen-X Energy Group Inc. (Gen-X), a renewable energy company formerly located in Pasco and Moses Lake, Washington. Between March 2013 and May 2014, Estes and his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of schemes to (1) falsely claim the production of marketable renewable energy credits; and (2) file false claims for refunds of excise credits with the IRS. Throughout this period, much of the renewable fuel claimed to be produced at the Gen-X facilities was either not produced or reprocessed multiple times. In total, over $39 million in proceeds from the scheme was laundered through accounts owned or controlled by Estes.

“The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is, and will continue to be, committed to prosecuting aggressively and seeking appropriate punishment for white collar crimes,” Ormsby said. “I commend the tenacious and thorough efforts of the IRS criminal investigations and the U.S. EPA’s criminal investigation division.”

“This is a classic case of an individual who allowed his own unfettered greed to guide his duplicitous actions,” stated Darrell Waldon, the special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigation. “When that greed turns into fraud to the degree perpetrated by Richard Estes and his co-conspirators, IRS criminal investigation stands ready with our law enforcement partners to serve as the guardians of economic equity and social justice.” 


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