Developments and even more charges continue in a billion dollar scheme connected to a Box Elder County business.
Federal officials have officially charged Rachel Ann Kingston and Sally Louise Kingston in connection with Washakie Renewable Energy, a now defunct biofuel plant near Plymouth in northern Box Elder County.
Rachel Kingston, the mother of Jacob Kingston and Isaiah Kingston and Sally Kingston, the wife of Jacob Kingston, faced felony charges on Jan. 22, in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.
The woman are accused of assisting the men to bilk over $1 billion from the U.S. government with false claims to obtain tax credits with biofuel transactions. The company obtained $511 million before officials stopped the scheme.
Rachel Kingston was charged with attempted conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering, bank fraud and obstruction of justice by destroying records. Sally Kingston faces charges of fraud and money laundering. Both women appeared in court on Jan. 22, but are not in custody.
In a new indictment it states that the defendants used some of that money to purchase real estate, trucks and to expand WRE. As a result, the indictment stated that the government is set to seize property from the Kingstons including over 500 acres in Box Elder County.
More property and assets were also listed in the indictment including homes in Utah, California and land in Texas. The list adds 10 vehicles to be seized including a Bugatti Veyron, two Lamborghinis and a Ferrari.
The land and assets will only be seized if the defendants are convicted.
On Nov. 20, 2018, Jacob Kingston, 42, was charged with 14 counts of filing false tax returns and 11 counts of money laundering in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. Isaiah Kingston, 38, was charged with seven counts of money laundering, all in connection with their now defunct company.
On Aug. 24, 2018, both Kingstons were indicted and arrested, along with Lev Aslan Dermen, 52. The Kingstons and Dermen were indicted by a federal grand jury out of Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court and court documents released to the public detail the allegations of fraud including that $511 million in renewable energy tax credits was fraudulently obtained but more than $1.1 billion was attempted in the scheme.
Those documents also state that the three men used WRE as a front to file false claims for those tax credits from 2010 to 2016. The company was established in 2007 as a biofuels production plant with a 40,000 square foot plant in Plymouth and headquarters in Salt Lake City.
Court documents added that the Kingstons and Dermen falsified company records including sales invoices, accounting records and weren’t manufacturing all the biofuel they were claiming on records to collect tax credits. They also added that money was funneled through Dermen’s company.
Washakie Renewable Energy claims on their website to produce biofuels from “renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement from locally grown crops and recycled waste.” Jacob Kingston and Isaiah Kingston each owned 50 percent of WRE, reports state, and that the company was listed as one of the largest producers of biodiesel and chemicals in the intermountain west.
Isaiah Kingston’s attorneys stated his deteriorating condition may prevent him from participating in his defense if proper medical care and treatment isn’t available to him in a January 2019 request in court.
On Jan. 4, attorney’s for Jacob Kingston filed their own court documents asking for his release from jail adding that Jacob Kingston will provide a $10 million bond to ensure he will show up for future court dates, wear a GPS monitor and be on full home confinement and surrender all of his families travel documents.
His attorneys added that he is not a flight risk and that there was no evidence to support the state’s claim that he was planning on fleeing to Turkey last summer with his family just before his arrest.
Jacob Kingston is currently being held in the Salt Lake County Jail and Dermen is in the Davis County Jail.
Dermen is asking the court to be tried separating from the Kingstons and wants his case moved to California.