Husband and Wife Trucking Company Owners Going to Prison for Fraud
Spokane, WA – A Richland, WA-couple who own a trucking company were sentenced to prison last month for their admitted role in connection with a $285,000 renewable energy fraud scheme.
Hector M. Garza, Jr., 49, and his wife, Tammy L. Garza, 38, owners of HTG Trucking and Freedom Fuel, Inc., were participants in a conspiracy involving Gen-X Energy Group, Inc. (Gen-X), a renewable energy company, formerly located in Pasco and Moses Lake, WA.
According to court records, between January 2013 and April 2013, Hector Garza and his co-conspirators falsely claimed the production of hundreds of thousands of marketable renewable energy credits, which they then sold for more than $296,000, and filed false claims with the IRS for $284,546 in excise credit refunds.
Hector Garza, HTG Trucking, and Freedom Fuel pled guilty last June to conspiring to defraud the United States with respect to the false claims made to the IRS, through the use of the trucking companies, which were used to “round” supposed renewable fuel by driving the same material back and forth between Gen-X’s Moses Lake facility and the Garzas’ businesses in Othello, WA, and generating fraudulent renewable energy credits and tax credits each time the material was “rounded.”
Garza has been sentenced to serve two years in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release.
Tammy Garza also pled guilty to aiding and abetting the use of false statements in connection with the renewable energy credits that were claimed and sold as part of the scheme, a separate offense.
She has been sentenced to serve four months in prison and one year of supervised release.
HTG Trucking and Freedom Fuel were placed on probation for three years.
All of the defendants were ordered to pay restitution to the U.S. Treasury of $284,546 and a $100,000 fine.
Several other conspirators have previously pled guilty and been sentenced in connection with their role in the fraud.
In June 2017, Scott Johnson, the former CEO of Gen-X, was sentenced to 97 months in prison in connection with his role in the fraud scheme.
In December 2017, Donald Holmes, the former vice president of Gen-X, was sentenced to 78 months of imprisonment.
In June 2018, Jin Chul “Jacob” Cha of Tustin, CA, was sentenced to 51 months in prison in connection with his role in the fraud.