California pushes a new plan to cut rooftop solar incentives
A Sacramento resident has been arrested in San Diego for his role in a scheme to illegally gain the power to turn a rooftop solar energy system into a full-scale solar-electric plant, according to the US Department of Justice.
According to court documents, David Brown (above) along with Mark “Bones” Eberhard of San Diego and two other individuals, was found to have been operating a solar power scam since sometime in 2014, using false representations about the rooftop solar systems they were offering to install in residential properties.
The trio allegedly used stolen identities to buy solar photovoltaic systems, then used the electricity generated by the systems to power their residences. Brown is alleged to have lived in Sacramento and Eberhard in San Diego.
The trio allegedly made more than $150,000 off of the alleged scheme with the proceeds of sales that did not occur. “[P]ossession with intent to sell a falsely procured commercial item is punishable under U.S. Code Section 541.”
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a criminal investigation in April of last year after it was reported that the San Diego trio were using stolen identities to make sales of solar products to unsuspecting homeowners.
By August of last year the trio had apparently run out of victims when they were hit by an investigation by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
The group then made fraudulent purchases of solar systems, according to the Department of Justice. The Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group that represents the solar industry, told the Associated Press that the U.S. attorney’s office was investigating the case, but did not provide further details.
The group allegedly used stolen identities to make sales of solar products to unsuspecting homeowners, using the purchased systems to power homes they were living in.
Mark “Bones” Eberhard (right), David Brown, and David Brown’s wife, Jennifer Brown
The three men also operated business websites that described themselves as selling ‘Solar Power Solution’ products on their site, using a series of misleading names and