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Wed Jul 4, 2018, 11:56 PM

Ruffatto gets 18 months, $14.4M penalty for Two Elk fraud and stealing from DoE stimulus grant

PITTSBURGH — A federal judge Wednesday sentenced Two Elk power plant promoter Michael J. Ruffatto to 18 months in prison and three years probation for stealing $5.7 million from a 2009-2010 Department of Energy stimulus grant for a study of carbon storage potential in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

Ruffatto also agreed to pay the government a total of $14.4 million in restitution, penalties and interest, according to a proposed civil settlement signed by Ruffatto and filed by his attorneys Tuesday in federal court. If he fails to meet scheduled payments, the civil settlement states, the government can seize his interest in two California power plants, his multi-million dollar estate in Colorado and other unspecified assets.

In his last appeal for leniency, an emotional Ruffatto told the court that he was “ashamed” of what he had done and then turned and tearfully asked forgiveness from his daughter Katherine and wife Eve who were in the large, nearly empty courtroom in the Pittsburgh Federal Courthouse.

As his wife and daughter wept and held their heads in their hands, Ruffatto, looking grey and haggard, ended by begging mercy from U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

Read more: https://www.wyofile.com/ruffatto-gets-18-months-14-4m-penalty-for-two-elk-fraud/

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