WASHINGTON (June 17, 2015) — The owner of a biodiesel fuel company has pleaded guilty to a Clean Air Act false statement and mail fraud in an alleged scheme to defraud the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Philip Joseph Rivkin — also known as Felipe Poitan Arriaga — owner of Green Diesel L.L.C., faces more than 10 years in prison in the plea agreement the EPA announced June 16. He also will be responsible for $51 million in restitution to victims of his alleged scheme.
In the plea agreement, Mr. Rivkin admitted that between July 2010 and July 2011 he falsely told the EPA that Green Diesel was producing millions of gallons of biodiesel fuel. He took his fraudulently obtained renewable fuel credits — also known as renewable identification numbers, or RINs — and sold them to oil companies and brokers for more than $29 million, according to the EPA.
On April 30, 2012, the EPA issued a notice of violation against Green Diesel, accusing the company of generating more than 60 million biodiesel RINs without producing any qualifying fuel.
Secret Service agents arrested Mr. Rivkin in Houston June 18, 2014, after he had been expelled from Guatemala for fraudulently obtaining Guatemalan citizenship. The government filed a 68-count indictment against him the next day.