Green Power CEO indicted on federal tax evasion charges
Federal prosecutors continue to add to the multitude of charges filed against Green Power CEO and founder Michael Spitzauer.
Spitzauer of Kennewick was indicted this week in connection with tax evasion.
In all, he has been indicted on 30 charges, including 16 counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering, three counts of bank fraud, two each of aggravated identity theft and filing a false tax return and the new charge of tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors claim in court documents that Spitzauer, who has been in jail since he was first indicted in December, failed to pay almost $1.1 million in taxes for income earned in 2008.
Spitzauer is accused of defrauding seven alleged victims of up to $7.6 million.
A number of the allegations stem from his business dealings with Green Power, a troubled Pasco biofuels company with a plant formerly under construction at the Port of Pasco.
Spitzauer received about $3.2 million of taxable income during 2008, prosecutors allege. He did not file a tax return.
They claim he mislead investors about his ability to access the money, fabricated letters and emails claiming they were from an attorney and told investors to wire deposits into a Green Power bank account he controlled.
Spitzauer also moved the money through a third-party bank account to conceal it, and used the money to buy his $1 million Kennewick home and for personal and Green Power business expenses, prosecutors allege. He also concealed the ownership of his home using a company.
He is to be arraigned on the amended charges at 2 p.m. Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Yakima.
Green Power’s future also is threatened.
The Port of Pasco is evicting the company from and Tri-City creditors are attempting to foreclose on the company’s personal property.
Green Power and Spitzauer owe about $36 million, including interest, to about 40 creditors, according to court documents.
Spitzauer, who emigrated from Austria to the U.S. shortly after his release from an Austrian prison, could be deported if he is convicted because he is a legal permanent resident, not a citizen.
Federal prosecutors are asking him to forfeit $4.9 million involved in the alleged wire fraud and money laundering, as well as his 16-room Kennewick home.
If found guilty of tax evasion, he could face five years imprisonment, a $100,000 fine and a fine equal to the costs of prosecution.
If found guilty on the earlier charges, he faces a maximum of up to 32 years in prison. He faces up to a $1 million fine in connection with bank fraud and the other earlier charges carrying fines of $100,000 to $250,000.