Carpoff Couple Get Caught In $900 Million Ponzi Scheme


Jeff and Paulette Carpoff ran a Ponzi scheme that garnered investments from Berkshire Hathaway.

The Ponzi scheme was based in Benicia, California. Supposedly the company manufactured solar generators that were used to power cellphone towers and provided lighting at major sports venues. However, those solar generators were never manufactured.

When you include the value of promissory notes, the total amount invested or committed to be invested reached a value of more than $2.7 billion. As is typical with a Ponzi scheme, investment returns were paid with the capital provided from new investors.

“By all outer appearances this was a legitimate and successful company,” said Kareem Carter, special agent in the IRS. “But in reality, it was all just smoke and mirrors—a Ponzi scheme touting tax benefits to the tune of over $900 million.”

Additionally, those who invested in DC Solar Solutions benefitted from tax benefits that are awarded to individuals who invest in renewable energy businesses. The Ponzi scheme was valued at $900 million. Currently, the Carpoff’s assets are being seized in order to pay back investors.

Mr. Carpoff has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. Ms. Carpoff has also pleaded guilty to money laundering.

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Economics, Finance and Investing