California man sentenced to over 6 years in jail for $8.7 million cow manure Ponzi scheme, authorities say

California man sentenced to over 6 years in jail for .7 million cow manure Ponzi scheme, authorities say


A person from California who ran a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme the place he claimed to show cow manure into inexperienced power has been sentenced to over six years in jail, the US lawyer’s workplace for the Japanese District of California introduced this week.

Ray Brewer, 66, stole over $8.7 million from traders, courtroom data from between March 2014 and December 2019 confirmed.

Brewer’s rip-off concerned convincing traders he might construct anaerobic digesters – massive machines that create methane via microorganisms breaking down biodegradable materials – on dairies in a number of California and Idaho counties, the US lawyer’s workplace stated in a information launch. This methane can “then be offered on the open market as inexperienced power,” the discharge acknowledged.

Brewer’s traders have been meant to obtain tax incentives and 66% of all internet earnings as a part of the scheme, authorities stated.

Brewer gave the traders excursions of the dairies the place he claimed he’d construct the digester machines and “despatched them cast lease agreements with the dairy homeowners,” in line with the US lawyer’s workplace launch.

“He additionally despatched the traders altered agreements with banks that made it seem as if he had obtained tens of millions of {dollars} in loans to construct the digesters,” the discharge stated.

Wanting to look as if he had secured income streams, Brewer additionally despatched traders cast contracts with multinational corporations, authorities stated, and confirmed them pretend pictures of the digesters below building.

California man sentenced to over 6 years in jail for .7 million cow manure Ponzi scheme, authorities say

After receiving traders’ funds, authorities stated he transferred the cash to financial institution accounts opened within the names of an alias, his relations and completely different entities.

In some instances, Brewer provided refunds that got here from “newly acquired cash from different traders who had not approved Brewer to make use of their cash on this method,” the US lawyer’s workplace stated.

Brewer assumed a brand new identification and relocated to Montana after his traders turned conscious of his fraud, authorities stated.

When he was arrested, Brewer tried to trick authorities by telling him that they had the fallacious individual.

He additionally informed officers tales about being within the Navy and “how he as soon as saved a number of troopers throughout a hearth by blocking the flames along with his physique in order that they might escape” – tales he later admitted have been lies “meant to curry favor with regulation enforcement,” the information launch acknowledged.

A few of Brewer’s purchases with the stolen cash included two plots of land of 10 or extra acres, a customized 3,700 square-foot residence and new pickup vehicles, in line with authorities.