The owner of a Texas biodiesel company has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $138 million in restitution and forfeiture for biofuels fraud.
Philip Joseph Rivkin created and sold more than 60 million false biodiesel credits under the federal renewable fuel program. He faked the production of millions of gallons of biodiesel at a Houston-based refinery, according to Dallas News.
Rivkin pleaded guilty in June to the charges of making a false statement under the Clean Air Act. He sold the credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to customers since 2009.
No biodiesel was ever produced was ever produced at the facility, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rivkin operated multiple companies in the fuel and biodiesel industries out of Texas.
Refiners are required to use predetermined annual volumes of biofuels under the federal renewable fuel program. Compliance with the program is followed via the RIN certificates that are affiliated with each gallon of biofuel.