Hot Air Leads to Trouble

When I was an undergraduate in college, I did research at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on the catalyzed production of methane from graphite. I don’t believe that research led to commercial production of natural gas (which is methane, CH4.

The government likes the idea of obtaining methane from unconventional sources. There’s a tax credit available for recovering methane from landfills. Some enterprising individuals had the not-so-brilliant idea of just reporting that they recovered the methane from landfills without actually recovering any. They helped their clients obtain more than $30 million in phony tax credits.

Well, the government found out about 32 individuals. Twelve of them were permanently barred last week (23 of the 32 have now been barred). Additionally, four individuals pleaded guilty last year in a related criminal case.

If you were one of the lucky investors who bought some of the non-existent methane credits, you’re likely looking at a “Dear Valued Taxpayer” letter in your future. And if you knowingly participated in the scheme, it’s time to find an attorney. For if you’re going to take a tax credit based on methane, that methane has to be real.

One Response to “Hot Air Leads to Trouble”

  1. […] The IRS does investigate such tax credits, and when you claim that you are recovering natural gas when you’re not, that’s tax fraud, a criminal offense. And that leads straight to ClubFed. […]