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Man Arrested for Manure Energy Scheme

A man in California has been arrested and sentenced to federal prison for a scheme that authorities proved to be a load of manure, metaphorically speaking. Ray Brewer was sentenced to more than six years of prison time for bilking investors of more than eight million dollars by fraudulently claiming he was building a series of green energy facilities capable of turning cow dung into methane in several California counties, and one in Idaho.

Authorities say Brewer secured investment funding through a variety of criminal activities, including forging lease agreements with dairy owners, doctoring loan agreements from banks, and even giving fraudulent tours of facilities where he convinced investors the digesters would be located. He even provided regular email updates with fake photos of construction and other forms of equipment.

Instead of using the money for its expressed purpose, authorities believe Brewer instead spent the money on real estate, building a home for himself, and several brand-new Dodge Ram pickup trucks.

Once several investors successfully sued him to recoup their losses, authorities believe Brewer assumed a new identity and moved to Sheridan, Montana. His ruse was short-lived, however. Eventually, investigators found and arrested him.

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