Guilty Plea in Electric Meter Tampering Scam
WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that James E. Nordhausen, age 51, of Ellicott, Maryland,
According to statements made at the plea hearing today and documents filed in court, the defendant worked with others to alter the electric meters affixed to residential and commercial buildings in Delaware and elsewhere. The defendant solicited residents and business owners, telling them that he would install an energy efficient “device” on their electric meters. The defendant gave the victims a flier, stating that he worked for a company called “eShield Technologies”. The flier stated that the installation fees were $500 for a residence, and one month’s average electricity bill for commercial locations. After collecting a fee, the defendant and others altered the electric meters at the victims’ locations. The alterations impacted the power companies’ ability to detect the power used by the victims. As a result, the victims’ electricity bills decreased significantly. Eventually, power company technicians noticed that the meters were the subject of tampering, and the victims became liable for the previously unbilled energy usage. The defendant, together with others, tampered with at least 37 meters, in at least 24 different locations in Delaware and elsewhere, obtaining at least $12,000 in fees.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the cooperation and assistance of Delmarva Power, a PHI company.