A federal judge on Tuesday (March 8) sentenced two Arkansas men to federal prison in connection with the development of a wind turbine that was never operational and a proposed wind farm project in Washington County that was never constructed.
U.S. District Judge Tim Brooks sentenced Jody Davis of Searcy to 15 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Phillip Ridings was sentenced to 97 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Both men were also ordered to pay $1.13 million in restitution.
The sentencing was detailed in a press release Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Justice. A federal jury convicted Davis and Ridings of fraud and money laundering charges on Sept. 3, 2021.
“This case represents some of the most important work that we do,” U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes said in a statement. “These defendants developed a scheme for the purposed of stealing large sums of money from innocent investors. The defendants in this case used lies and misrepresentations to trick investors into paying them large amounts of money that they converted for their own, personal use.
“We will continue to work with our federal law enforcement partners at the FBI and the IRS to investigate and prosecute cases like this. We will also continue to work tirelessly to protect others from similar schemes to defraud.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyra Jenner and Kenneth Elser prosecuted the case.