Thursday, August 29, 2013

Man guilty in Jonestown wind turbine fraud

One of the turbines in Jonestown (Ed Zavala/KXAN)
AUSTIN (KXAN) - A man who promised to bring wind energy generation to Jonestown has been convicted of fraud after a jury found that he manipulated grant applications to secure federal grants to fund the project.
Charles Malouff will be sentenced by state district Judge Karen Sage next week.
In 2011, Malouff unveiled plans to place 18 turbines in Jonestown. Only two were completed and one of them broke down.
In the arrest warrant affidavit issued in October 2011, Malouff and a friend at the State Comptroller's Office who was in charge of administrating the grant were accused of working together to fraudulently secure almost $2 million in grants from the Department of Energy.
However, according to the arrest warrant, the turbine never had a legit prototype and experts who examined the design considered it flawed and not commercially viable.
Guilty of securing the execution of a document by deception to obtain more than $200,000 is a first-degree felony. Malouff last year pleaded guilty to an illegal firearms charge and is still serving the 30-month prison sentence.