The owner of an eastern Iowa energy efficiency company has pleaded guilty to a scheme to fraudulently collect rebates.
Thirty-nine-year-old Dustin Hutcheson of Marion pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. Hutcheson admitted at his plea hearing he falsely told customers his Hutch Energy company could replace their lighting at no cost using utility company energy efficiency rebates.
Hutcheson’s company then sent fake energy efficiency rebate forms and invoices to the utility company for light replacements. He also admitted at the plea hearing that he had paid an employee of one of the utility company’s contractors $1,400 as a kickback for utility company customer referrals.
Hutcheson faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $1,5 million fine once a sentencing date has been set.