Keystone Biofuels director pleads guilty to biodiesel tax fraud

By Ron Kotrba | October 04, 2018

David Tielle, business development director of Pennsylvania-based Keystone Biofuels, pleaded guilty Oct. 3 in federal court to one count of conspiring to defraud the IRS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to the justice department, between 2009 and 2012, Tielle participated in a conspiracy to fraudulently claim tax refunds based on the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit.

“Fraud committed against the U.S. government, making all of us victims, is always disappointing,” said U.S. Attorney David J. Freed. “It is particularly so when the fraud is connected to a program with the laudable aim of encouraging renewable fuel production. The defendant in this case nefariously turned a program meant to benefit our community into a scheme to enrich himself and his partners, at our expense.”

As part of the conspiracy, the justice department stated Tielle caused inflated fuel amounts to be reported to the IRS to claim false tax refunds on biodiesel Keystone did not produce.

“To account for the inflated fuel amounts, Tielle created false books and records and engaged in a series of sham financial transactions intended to mirror the false books and records,” the government stated. “Tielle also caused Keystone to fraudulently claim tax refunds on fuel that did not meet the quality standards needed to qualify for the [biodiesel tax credit] and on fuel Keystone had not mixed with petroleum.”

The total loss resulting from Tielle’s conduct, according to the government, is more than $4 million.

Tielle faces a maximum of five years in prison followed by supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.


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