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Montana man sentenced for $9m manure digester Ponzi scheme

Ray Brewer, of Porterville, California, and Sheridan, Montana, has been sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for running a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme where he purported to turn cow manure into green energy, U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced.

According to court records, Brewer stole $8.75 million from investors from March 2014 through December 2019 by claiming to build anaerobic digesters on dairies in Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare Counties, as well as other counties in California and Idaho. Anaerobic digesters are large machines that use microorganisms to break down biodegradable material and turn it into methane. The methane can then be sold on the open market as green energy. The methane also produces Renewable Energy Credits (REC), which represent the property right to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through green energy creation. RECs are commonly purchased by companies to meet green energy regulatory, contractual, and initiative requirements or commitments. Brewer’s investors were supposed to receive 66% of all net profits as well as tax incentives.

July 3, 2023


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