The United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced April 14 that Shawn Robert Dooling, 50, an Excelsior resident and founder of a renewable energy company, has been charged with three counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.
As alleged in the indictment, in 2009, Dooling founded Renewable Energy SD, a wind energy company headquartered in Excelsior.
From 2010-20133, Dooling allegedly executed a scheme to defraud company customers by falsely representing that, for an agreed-upon contract price, his company would build and maintain wind energy turbines on customers’ land.
Dooling marketed the electricity-generating wind turbines as a way for customers to save money by generating enough electricity to supply their needs and eventually sell excess electricity to utility companies.
Dooling allegedly told customers that he would send a portion of their money to a third-party manufacturer as a down payment to reserve a specific wind turbine.
Then, when the wind turbine was completed and ready to be shipped, he would send the remaining portion of the money to the manufacturer to complete the purchase.
In reality, instead of reserving and purchasing the wind turbines, Dooling often took customers’ money out of company bank accounts for his own personal use. As part of the scheme, Dooling also used some customers’ money to pay for other customers’ wind turbine projects.
Dooling allegedly furthered his scheme by lying to customers about the status of their orders and told customers that Renewable Energy SD’s failure to deliver the wind turbines was due to manufacturer delays.
As a result of this scheme, more than 60 customers paid a combined total of more than $13 million to Dooling and his company and never received the promised wind turbines or a refund of their money. In total, he used approximately $2 million from company bank accounts for his own personal benefit. The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.
-Compiled by Paige Kieffer. Contact Paige Kieffer at [email protected]