As oil refineries struggled to comply with federal mandates for blending renewable fuels into the nation’s gasoline and diesel supply, Bernard offered a solution: millions of dollars’ worth of biofuel credits they could buy to help meet their obligation. The credits were ostensibly generated by biofuel companies Bernard and his partners owned.
The only problem is they weren’t making the fuel. They were faking it, generating at least $42 million worth of phony credits. Bernard was sent to prison last month.
“The scams just keep coming,” said Doug Parker, a former director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation division. “There has already been north of $500 million in fraud prosecuted. That to me means there have been billions of dollars in fraud losses out there.”