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Power Plant Developer Gets 18 Months in Prison

He falsified documents related to $5.7 million in funding.

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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The developer of Wyoming power plant that remains unbuilt was sentenced to 18 months in prison for defrauding the federal government out of millions of dollars.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports 72-year-old Michael Ruffatto was sentenced Wednesday by a federal judge in Pennsylvania after pleaded guilty in 2016 to falsifying documents related to $5.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Much of the money was to be used for a feasibility study at the long-delayed Two Elk power plant in northeast Wyoming where only concrete pads were poured. According to court documents, the money instead paid for Ruffatto’s Mercedes-Benz, foreign travel and luxurious home in Colorado.

Ruffatto must pay $2 million in restitution and will have three years of supervised release.

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