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Sunday, October 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Plea deal for Pasco alternative energy CEO calls for cooperation, uncertain jail time

The founder of an alternative energy company who admitted he took the IRS for $9.5 million in a tax credit scam may avoid jail time if he assists federal investigators.

Scott C. Johnson, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to defraud the government and private parties by claiming to produce millions of gallons of renewable, food waste-based energy that were never created. Johnson, the founder and chief executive of Pasco-based Gen-X Energy Group, told a U.S. District Court judge he instructed employees to process fuel multiple times to illegally attain tax credits.

“I was aware, and I directed my employees to run the operation,” Johnson told U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr.

A plea agreement filed with the court calls for Johnson to meet with investigators, provide documents and testify if others are brought to court. The agreement calls for restitution to the IRS and other victims, as well as a three-year period of supervised release.

No jail sentence is included in the agreement, though both parties may “recommend a legal sentence,” according to court records.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for May in Richland. Johnson is not in custody.

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