Forest City man charged with mail fraud, wire fraud

FOREST CITY — A Forest City man who has already been sentenced to over a year in prison for failing to pay employment taxes now is facing additional federal fraud charges. The US Attorney’s Office has charged 61-year-old Darell Smith with mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Smith was the president and general partner of Energae, an investment partnership located in Clear Lake which was a minority investor in Permeate Refining LLC, an ethanol production company based in Hopkington. Smith is accused of soliciting funds from many of his investment clients to be invested in Permeate by having the funds transferred to Energae. Smith allegedly caused a total of $175-thousand to be transferred from clients without their knowledge from 2011 to 2013 by either using pre-signed, blank authorization forms or forging his clients’ signatures so he could transfer funds or issue checks via wire or mail. He was sentenced to 13 months last year for failing to pay more than $502-thousand in employment taxes to the IRS on behalf of Permeate employees from 2011 to 2012.

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