(Adds details on scheme, renewable fuels program, quote from
WASHINGTON, April 7 The owner of a New Jersey
feedstock processor was sentenced to five years in prison for
his role in a scheme that generated fraudulent tax and renewable
fuel credits, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday.
In addition to the prison term, Malek Jalal, owner of Unity
Fuels, was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution in
a scheme that involved more than $7 million worth of fraudulent
tax credits and renewable fuel credits known as RINs, the
Justice Department said.
Jalal pleaded guilty in September.
According to his plea, Jalal engaged in a scheme with other
co-conspirators to fraudulently claim RINs multiple times on the
same fuel. Jalal bought fuel from a company based in New York,
blended it with other materials and then sold it back to the
same company, the Justice Department said.
Jalal also modified and destroyed records after receiving a
grand jury subpoena from a court in Ohio. He directed a worker
at Unity Fuels to fabricate false records in an attempt to hide
the scheme, according to his plea.
The U.S. government's renewable fuels program requires
certain amounts of biodiesel to be blended into the country's
motor fuel each year. Under the program, biofuel companies can
generate RINs credits they can sell to other companies who need
them to meet their fuel requirements.
"Unlawful acts like those at issue in this case defraud the
U.S. government, harm American taxpayers and consumers, and
undermine energy and environmental laws enacted by Congress,”
said General Wood, the Justice Department's acting assistant
attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and