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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Greene County Man Admits Defrauding Investors in a Waste-to-Energy Conversion Plant

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Greene County pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Robert Irey, 59, of Clarksville, PA 15322 pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Robert J. Colville.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Irey and his charged coconspirators owned and ran a company called Alternative Energy Holdings, LLC (“AEH”). The defendants informed victims that AEH was going to build a plant that would convert biodegradable waste into energy. The defendants furthered offered victims an opportunity to invest in AEH. Specifically, they solicited short-term loans that offered high interest rates and, in some cases, an ownership interest in AEH. The victims were told their funds would be used for business expenses. However, after victims provided funds to AEH, the defendants often split the money three ways and used it for personal use. Despite the promise of a short-term repayment, the victims were not repaid. From approximately June 2016 until April 2018, approximately 22 victims loaned AEH $2,017,228.44.

Judge Colville scheduled sentencing for March 24, 2021. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Irey.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated November 18, 2021