Skip to comments.NASCAR, Chip Ganassi Racing Duped In Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme, Affiliation Unlikely to Leave Stain on Sport (DC Solar)
Posted on 01/27/2020 3:47:40 PM PST by Libloather
The co-owners of DC Solar Solutions, Inc. plead guilty on Friday to charges associated with running a one billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Jeff and Paulette Carpoff (along with five others who have/will plead guilty) acknowledged that between 2011 and 2018 they sold investors mobile solar generator units (MSGs) that did not exist and manipulated documentation (think: financial statements, lease contracts) to make it appear as if the units had been leased out and were in use. New funds were used to pay the scams earliest investors and to make several sports related purchases including; NASCAR sponsorships, an independent league baseball team and a luxury box at Raiders games. When the the criminal fraud scheme - the largest in the history of Californias Eastern District - went bust in December 2018, it forced Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) to shutter its Xfinity series team for the 2019 season and resulted in Martinez, Californias baseball club closing operations after just a single season.
It would be easy to point the finger at Chip Ganassi Racing and say that the team should have done a better job vetting their sponsor, but even IRS Special Agent Kareem Carter acknowledged that by all outer appearances this was a legitimate and successful company. In fact, DC Solar did such a good job of projecting promise that sophisticated corporate investors - including Berkshire Hathaway, Progressive Corp. and Sherwin-Williams (perhaps blinded by the generous federal tax credits received for investing in renewable energy) - poured money into the venture. Pockrass said the fact that these generators were being seen in use at race tracks had just about everyone believing that it was a legitimate company. There was not a lot of reason to question it.
(Excerpt) Read more at si.com ...
Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway lost $340 million to California couple's massive Ponzi con
So, do they get to keep the Billion or do they have to give it to AOC as part of the Green New Deal?
She’s an Economist, like Paul Krugman, you know...
Because DC couldnt lease out equipment that didnt actually exist, the Carpoffs paid proceeds to old investors from new investor cash. Progressive Insurance Co., East West Bancorp and Valley National Bancorp were all victims. Berkshire Hathaway took a $377 million charge tied to DC Solar to reverse the value of tax credits it had claimed against assets that turned out not to have been real.
The couple enjoyed the Ponzi life while it lasted. A federal investigation turned up cars, jets, real estate and jewels. An auction of the Carpoffs collection of more than 140 cars fetched $8.3 million. The highlights included a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner and a 1978 Pontiac Trans-Am once owned by Burt Reynolds.
The Carpoffs owned a semipro baseball team, stake in a Napa Valley winery, the Seagrape Villa at the Four Seasons Resort of St. Kitts, for which they paid $5.375 million cash. And they hired Pitbull for a holiday party.
The Carpoffs biggest unsecured creditor is racing driver Chip Ganassi, whose Nascar team is owed $4.3 million by onetime sponsor DC Solar.
More than 700 of DCs mobile solar units were auctioned off last year. The federal investigation has so far seized $120 million in assets and returned $500 million to the U.S. Treasury. Sentencing is in May.
So, not only were they crooks, but they also had really poor taste in music.
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