“A federal jury on Wednesday convicted the owner of an Excelsior renewable energy firm of multiple fraud charges in connection with bilking more than 70 customers out of millions of dollars for wind turbines they never received.
Prosecutors charged Shawn Robert Dooling, 52, last year after an FBI investigation, alleging that he used Renewable Energy SD LLC, to draw more than $13 million in payments from customers to whom he did not offer refunds when he failed to deliver wind turbines ordered between 2010 and 2013.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Surya Saxena, who helped prosecute the case, said in a statement that Dooling “wanted to live a life of luxury without earning the money to pay for it, so he lied to and stole from people who trusted him, most of whom were hardworking farmers.”
A message was left seeking comment Thursday from Dooling’s attorney, Andrew Birrell. When a grand jury indicted Dooling in April 2017, Birrell argued that his client was “an honest business person who poured his heart and soul and hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into his alternative-energy wind turbine company, only to lose it all when a dishonest supplier in New Jersey, to whom Shawn’s company advanced at least $4.5 million, failed to deliver turbines as promised and as required by contract.”
But prosecutors convinced jurors this week that Dooling carried out a yearslong scheme that primarily victimized farmers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. While the farmers waited for wind turbines to be erected on their land, prosecutors said, Dooling pulled $2 million from his company’s bank accounts to pay for luxury automobiles, travel and college tuition payments for his son.”
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Montemayor, Stephen. Star Tribune 30 August 2018.