Had enough of this fraud yet? Or are you too buffaloed by the hot air and moral guilt-tripping over a thoroughly imaginary “crisis” — “climate change”?
Touted with fanfare by city officials and then-Gov. Pat Quinn at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, a planned network of charging stations for electric vehicles was billed as an environmentally friendly project designed to be the best and largest in the country. But the green initiative fizzled badly, and now two former owners of a California-based company initially selected to build the sprawling Chicago-area network stand charged with fraud in an indictment made public Wednesday in Chicago’s federal court.
Prosecutors alleged the pair, Mariana Gerzanych and Timothy Mason, falsely obtained almost $3 million in federal grants administered by the city of Chicago and government agencies in Pennsylvania and California. To collect the grant money, the two falsely claimed that their company, 350Green LLC of Los Angeles, paid subcontractors and vendors when in fact they had not, the indictment charged. Both were charged with five counts of wire fraud and will be arraigned later.
Honest to Pete… we read stories like this one nearly every day. And yet no matter how much money is siphoned out of the public trough, a) they keep coming back from more, and b) honest people don’t rise up and shut this legalized graft down, hard.
Envisioned as the backbone to a less gasoline-dependent future, the charging station network was supposed to allow electric vehicle drivers across the area to power their cars in a matter of minutes. Years later, only a fraction of the charging stations planned for Chicago exist as the project has been slow to materialize amid a series of legal, equipment and organizational setbacks.
When 350Green was picked to build the charging stations here, Chicago was heralded as an early adopter of electric car technology, but that crumbled amid evidence of unpaid bills and accounting issues. Projects by the company in 19 other markets across the country also collapsed.
Read the whole thing and find out how the alleged scheme worked. It really is like taking candy from a baby — and we’re the infants getting robbed, over and over and over…