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PA biofuel company executive pleads guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building is viewed in Washington, DC, February 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

HARRISBURG — The director of business development at Keystone Biofuels pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Between 2009 to 2012, David Tielle caused inflated fuel amounts to be reported to the IRS in order to fraudulently claim tax refunds on fuel Keystone was not producing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also created false books and records, and engaged in false financial transactions that were intended to mirror the false books and records.

Tielle also caused the Camp Hill-based company to fraudulently claim tax refunds on fuel that did not meet the quality standards needed to qualify for the Biodiesel Mixture Tax Credit, plus fuel that had not been mixed with petroleum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office added.

“Fraud committed against the United States Government, making all of us victims, is always disappointing,” said U.S. Attorney David J. Freed. “It is particularly so when the fraud is connected to a program with the laudable aim of encouraging renewable fuel production. The defendant in this case nefariously turned a program meant to benefit our community into a scheme to enrich himself and his partners, at our expense. I commend the tireless work of all of our partners in this case, especially the investigators with IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation.”

Due to Tielle’s conduct, Keystone total loss is approximately $4.15 million.

He faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

“A strong enforcement program is essential to maintaining the integrity of the renewable fuel program,” said EPA Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Lynn. “Today’s guilty plea should send a clear message that EPA and our law enforcement partners are committed to vigorously pursuing these criminal cases.”