President And Chief Executive Officer Of Now-Defunct Code Green Solar LLC Admits Wire Fraud Scheme
CAMDEN, N.J. – A former Camden County, New Jersey, man today admitted perpetrating a long-running scheme to defraud the U.S. Treasury Department of millions of dollars by falsely claiming federal rebates for solar panels his company never installed, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Charles E. Kartsaklis, 41, formerly of Erial, New Jersey, and now living in Davenport, Florida, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. Kartsaklis was released on bail.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Since 2009, Kartsaklis has been the president and chief executive officer of Code Green Solar LLC, a now-defunct New Jersey solar panel installation business. In 2011 and 2012, Kartsaklis submitted proposals on behalf of Code Green Solar to install solar panels at several businesses in New Jersey, identified in court papers as Businesses 1 through 5. Businesses 1 through 5 rejected the proposals. Nevertheless, Kartsaklis applied for and obtained federally funded rebates totaling more than $3 million by falsely claiming that Code Green Solar had installed solar panels on each of those businesses. He manufactured fraudulent documents and electronically transmitted them to the U.S. Treasury Department, including:
• applications for funds pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;
• phony “Solar Power Purchase Agreements,” which purported to reflect agreements pertaining to the purchase of electricity between Code Green Solar and Businesses 1 through 5;
• fraudulent emails to purporting to be from a utility company verifying that the utility company had installed electric meters at Businesses 1 through 5; and
• annual reports for years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, which falsely certified that the panels at Businesses 1 through 5 were still generating electricity, and which Code Green Solar was required to send for five years in order to keep the rebate money.
The wire fraud charge to which Kartsaklis pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Kartsaklis has agreed to make full restitution in the amount of $3,081,938. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster, and special agents of the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Anthony Scott, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Justin R. White Esq. and Michael L. Testa Sr. Esq., Vineland, New Jersey