Clean energy grant fraud results in 7 year prison sentence

Clean energy grant fraud results in 7 year prison sentence
(Courtesy: Thomas Richter/Unsplash)

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man who participated in a scheme to defraud the U.S. government out of about $50 million in tax-free grants intended to fund clean energy projects has been sentenced to seven years in prison, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Christopher N. Condron, 50, was also sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston to three years of probation and ordered to pay $8.7 million, the amount he actually made in the scheme that ran from 2009 until 2013, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Condron and others submitted fraudulent grant applications to the U.S. Treasury Department on behalf of four different companies, purportedly involved in either biofuel gasificaton or wind farm projects, prosecutors said.

The grants were from a program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, meant to stimulate the U.S. economy after the 2008 recession.

Condron claimed the companies had either acquired, placed into service, or started construction of the projects at a total cost of more than $170 million, prosecutors said. Condron and others then sought to be reimbursed for more than $50 million based on those inflated costs, authorities said.

Condron submitted fraudulent documentation to an attorney who, in turn, submitted the applications to the Treasury Department, according to prosecutors.

Condron, of Acton, was indicted in 2017 and in September 2021 was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to defraud the United States and wire fraud. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorneys.