Four family members belonging to a Utah polygamist group admitted defrauding the U.S. of $512 million in renewable-fuel tax credits, with the leader saying the mastermind was an Armenian immigrant who owns a small oil and gas empire in Southern California. That businessman now faces trial alone.
The leader, Jacob Kingston, who was chief executive of Washakie Renewable Energy, pleaded guilty July 18 in federal court in Salt Lake City. He said his company falsely claimed that it produced or blended biodiesel fuel to qualify for tax credits. He also admitted laundering more than $100 million in fraud proceeds in Turkey, obstructing justice and tampering with witnesses.
Kingston is a member of the Davis County Cooperative Society, which is known as the Order and is one of the largest Mormon polygamist clans in the U.S. In agreeing to pay back the $512 million, Kingston and his family
will forfeit their Washakie