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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Federal Jury Convicts Founder Of Wind Energy Company In Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the conviction of SHAWN ROBERT DOOLING, 52, for orchestrating a multi-million dollar wind energy fraud scheme. Following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson, the jury found DOOLING guilty on all counts.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Surya Saxena said, “Mr. Dooling wanted to live a life of luxury without earning the money to pay for it, so he lied to and stole from people who trusted him, most of whom were hardworking farmers. Mr. Dooling will now be held accountable for his actions.”

“We are grateful for the work of the jury who deliberated this case and saw what we saw, and that was a scheme crafted by Mr. Dooling to defraud innocent and well intentioned investors of their hard earned money with the empty promise of energy efficiency that would never come to be,” said Jill Sanborn, Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis Division of the FBI.

As proven at trial, in 2009, DOOLING founded Renewable Energy SD, LLC (“RESD”), a wind energy company headquartered in Excelsior, Minnesota. DOOLING, as the owner and president of RESD, marketed and sold wind turbines, as well as wind turbine installation and maintenance services, as a way for customers to save money by reducing or eliminating their energy expenses. RESD’s customers were predominantly farmers who owned and operated farms in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. From approximately 2010 through 2013, DOOLING devised and executed a scheme to defraud his customers by falsely representing that for an agreed-upon contract price, RESD would build and maintain wind energy turbines on customers’ land. However, in reality, DOOLING spent his customers’ money on personal expenses and diverted their money to pay for other customers’ projects.

As part of the scheme, DOOLING told customers that he would send a portion of their money to a third-party manufacturer as a down payment to reserve a specific wind turbine.  Then, when the wind turbine was completed and ready to be shipped, he would send the remaining portion of the money to the manufacturer to complete the purchase. DOOLING furthered his scheme by lying to customers about the status of their orders and told customers that RESD’s failure to deliver the wind turbines was due to manufacturer delays. As a result of his scheme, more than 70 customers paid a combined total of more than $13 million to DOOLING and his company and never received the promised wind turbines or a refund of their money. DOOLING withdrew approximately $2 million from RESD’s bank accounts over the course of the scheme for his personal use, including luxury automobile purchases, travel, and college tuition payments for his son.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Surya Saxena and Amber M. Brennan tried the case.

 

Defendant Information:

SHAWN ROBERT DOOLING, 52

Excelsior, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Mail fraud, 3 counts
  • Wire fraud, 1 count
  • Engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property, 1 count

 

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated August 30, 2018