Colorado Business Owner Convicted in $7 Million Biodiesel Tax Credit Fraud Scheme
A federal jury in Denver, Colorado, found Martin Fields guilty yesterday of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false claims against the United States, and money laundering, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Fields, along with Matthew Taylor, Calvin Glover, and others, filed false claims for tax credits under a federal program that encourages the production and use of renewable fuels. To accomplish the scheme, Fields and his coconspirators created a fake company, Shintan Inc., that purported to be in the business of creating renewable biodiesel fuel. From 2010 to 2013, Fields and his coconspirators filed documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claiming more than $7.2 million in tax credits for production of renewable fuel. In fact, however, Shintan produced no qualifying renewable fuel, and the documents filed with the IRS were false. To avoid detection, Fields and his coconspirators laundered the fraudulently obtained funds through bank accounts belonging to Shintan and other shell companies. As a result of the scheme, Fields personally received at least $1.8 million.
Fields’s co-conspirators, Taylor and Glover, previously pleaded guilty – Taylor to money laundering and money laundering conspiracy and Glover to conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2020. Fields faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the government and for each false claim count, and 10 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy and each money laundering count. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and EPA Criminal Investigation Division, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Sarah A. Kiewlicz, and Stephen K. Moulton, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.