Owners of a green tech startup company that installed and maintained charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles were indicted on March 3rd, 2015, by a federal grand jury for allegedly engaging in a scheme to fraudulently obtain federal and state grant funds, from the City of Chicago, the State of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and two California entities: the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Association of Bay Area Governments.
Defendants Mariana Gerzanych, 36, and Timothy Mason, 58, both of California, were co-owners of 350Green LLC of Los Angeles, California, which purported to install and maintain charging stations for plug in electric vehicles. Gerzanych and Mason were each charged with five counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, between August 2010 and September 2012, as principals of 350Green, Mason and Gerzanych applied for and received over $2.9 million in grants from the City of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Association of Bay Area Governments, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The grant funds were intended to support installation and operation of charging stations for electric vehicles. In particular, the indictment alleges that, in order to obtain grant funds, Mason and Gerzanych falsely claimed that a company called Actium Power had supplied Level 3 DC fast chargers to 350Green and that 350Green had paid Actium Power for those chargers, when in fact Actium Power did not supply the chargers, and the actual manufacturer of the chargers was never paid. Further, the indictment alleges that, in order to obtain the grant funds, 350Green submitted claims to the City of Chicago that falsely represent that subcontractors and vendors had been paid when in fact, they had not.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.