Washakie executives plead not guilty to filing hundreds of millions of dollars in false claims

The two top executives of Washakie Renewable Energy have pleaded not guilty in federal court to fraud and other federal charges. CEO Jacob Kingston and CFO Isaiah Kingston are accused of filing false claims for renewable fuel tax credits in excess of $510 million.

According to the Associated Press, court records indicate Jacob Kingston and Isaiah Kingston entered their not-guilty pleas on Friday in federal court in Salt Lake City.

An indictment unsealed Friday said the two men each hold a 50 percent ownership interest in WRE. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah said the indictment stemmed from an investigation by several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the IRS and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

The renewable energy company and its top officers have run into problems before. The IRS and other federal agencies raided one home and several offices associated with the Kingston family in February 2016.

In March of 2015, federal authorities said WRE would need to pay a $3 million penalty to settle allegations that they earned a profit claiming they produced biodiesel they didn’t actually make.

The company, with its main plant in Box Elder County and offices in Salt Lake City, is allegedly Utah’s largest producer of clean burning and sustainable biodiesel.

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