Former Connecticut Resident Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Federal Energy Program
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WALTER CRAIG BRADWAY, 65, formerly of Glastonbury and currently residing in Holmes Beach, Fla., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 13 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for fraudulently obtaining more than $9 million in economic stimulus program funds in 2010 and 2011. Judge Thompson also ordered BRADWAY to perform 600 hours of community service.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included provisions for various economic stimulus programs funded in part or in whole by the United States. These programs included the Specified Energy Property Program administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which was referred to as the “Section 1603 program.” The Section 1603 program, which was administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (“NREL”) in Golden, Colorado, provided funds to reimburse eligible applicants a portion of their costs for installing specific energy properties, including the installation of solar panel projects.
Applicants seeking reimbursement for their energy projects were required to submit supporting documentation including engineer-certified design plans for the project, vendor invoices reflecting the costs of installing the energy property and, for projects that were connected to an existing public utility, an interconnection agreement with that utility. Under the rules of the Section 1603 program, reimbursements could not be made until the energy property in question was completed and placed in service. The Department of the Treasury typically reimbursed 30 percent of the cost of approved Section 1603 applications.
BRADWAY was the owner and president of Glastonbury-based DataComm Services LLC (“DCS”). In 2010 and 2011, BRADWAY, through DCS, submitted more than 300 applications for Section 1603 reimbursements for solar panel projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maine and California. Many of these applications were fraudulent, however, because BRADWAY represented that the project was installed and in service when, in fact, the project had not been completed or even begun. BRADWAY also overstated the size and cost of projects in order to increase the reimbursement amount. In connection with many applications, BRADWAY submitted false documentation, including falsified engineer reports and fake interconnection agreements with local utility companies. As a result of these fraudulent applications, BRADWAY received approximately $9,026,637 in funds that he was not entitled to.
BRADWAY voluntary disclosed his criminal conduct to the Department of Treasury.
Judge Thompson ordered BRADWAY to pay restitution in the amount of $8,935,266.50, which accounts for approximately $91,000 that BRADWAY has paid to date.
On February 1, 2016, BRADWAY pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Treasury – Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan.