Federal prosecutors charged a Perry Hall businessman on Monday of selling fraudulent renewable energy credits and using the profits to buy luxury cars, according to the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Charges against 33-year-old Rodney R. Hailey include wire fraud, money laundering and a violation of the Clean Air Act. Hailey has not yet been arrested, a Department of Justice spokeswoman said.
An investigation by several federal and local regulatory and law enforcement agencies found that Clean Green Fuel, LLC—a company based in Nottingham and run by Hailey—sold more than 32 million renewable fuel credits, also known as renewable identification numbers, to brokers and oil companies for about $9 million. Federal prosecutors allege Hailey fabricated the identification numbers.
All oil companies in the U.S. are required to produce a designated amount of renewable fuel or to purchase credits, known as renewable identification numbers, the press released states. These credits are largely available from producers of renewable fuels, according to the release.
However, Clean Green Fuel did not produce any renewable fuel, investigators found. Hailey is accused of fraudulently creating RINs on his computer without any actual fuel to back them.
The website for Clean Green Fuel, LLC, includes photos of lush farmland, fuel containers and smiling customer service representatives. The company website says it "produces, supplies and promotes the use of biodiesel as an American made, clean burning alternative fuel, produced from renewable resources."
The phone number to the business's location on Franklin Square Drive was disconnected as of late Monday afternoon.
"Hailey specialized in producing 38-digit ‘renewable identification numbers,’ each of which supposedly corresponded to the production of two-thirds of a gallon of biodiesel fuel; in fact, he allegedly sold more than 32 million RINs for over $9 million,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated in a release.
Hailey is accused of using the money from the sale of the fraudulent RINs to purchase several luxury vehicles, including BMWs, a Mercedes-Benz, a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Lamborghini, Ferrari and Maserati, as well as real estate and jewelry, the release stated.
Hailey told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigators that his business manufactured the fuel from waste vegetable oil collected from 2,700 restaurants. Hailey sold the RINs between March 2009 and December 2010 to brokers and oil companies for at least $9 million.
Investigators found that Hailey did not have a facility capable of producing renewable fuel and he was generating false credits on his computer, the release stated.
Hailey could face 20 years in prison for wire fraud, 10 years in prison for money laundering and two years in prison for violating the Clean Air Act, the release stated. He is expected to appear in U.S. District Court at 1 p.m., on Oct. 13.