The federal government is moving to seize the Washakie Renewable Energy plant in Box Elder County and more than 500 acres of undeveloped land nearby as part of an expanded grand jury indictment against four members of the Kingston clan.
In a superseding indictment unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, prosecutors added numerous felony charges against Washakie founders Jacob and Isaiah Kingston and California businessman Lev Dermen.
Also charged in the updated case are the Kingston brothers’ mother, Rachel Ann Kingston, and Jacob’s wife, Sally Louise Kingston.
The 46-count, 60-page indictment said the women assisted the three men in a scheme to defraud the government of $1.1 billion by faking more than 1 billion gallons of biofuels transactions to obtain renewable energy tax credits from 2011 through 2015.
The defendants received $511 million before the alleged scheme was stopped, according to the indictment.
The new indictment said the Kingstons used some proceeds from the fraud to buy real estate and delivery trucks, expand and promote Washakie, and build out its plant near Plymouth.
According to Box Elder County property records, the nearby Kingston-owned lands that would be seized total 503 acres across a dozen parcels.
In addition to the Box Elder properties, prosecutors served notice of asset forfeiture action to seize mansions in Sandy, Utah, and Huntington Beach, California; five structures in Salt Lake City and a sixth in Taylorsville; and 13 acres in Brownsville, Texas.
Ten vehicles also are on the forfeiture list, including a Bugatti Veyron, two Lamborghinis, a Ferrari and six Kenworth trucks.
Land and property would be seized only if the defendants are convicted. Asset forfeiture laws allow authorities to get court orders allowing the seizures.
Jacob Kingston, Washakie’s CEO, now faces 42 charges of tax fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and targeting of witnesses. Isaiah, the CFO, faces 20 charges.
Dermen, whom prosecutors allege used several companies he controls in the United States and Turkey to launder money with the Kingstons, now faces nine charges.
Rachel Kingston is charged with attempted conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering, bank fraud and obstruction of justice by destroying records.
The indictment accuses Sally Kingston of single counts of mail fraud and money laundering.
At a detention hearing Tuesday, a judge ordered the women released pending trial. Efforts to reach their attorney, Wally Bugden, were not immediately successful.
The three men in the case have been jailed without bail since their arrests in August 2018.
The updated indictment offered more details of the alleged scheme, including records of conversations Jacob and Isaiah Kingston are said to have had with an enforcer to intimidate or injure three witnesses.
In one conversation on the WhatsApp mobile messaging app, Jacob Kingston talked to an intermediary about using an enforcer referred to as “Beto” to threaten a witness, the indictment said.
“Let’s get Beto up his ass,” Kingston said, according to the document. “See how he likes that.”
The intermediary reported back in another conversation that a witness had been threatened and would be killed the next time if he did not stay quiet, the indictment said.
Also new in the updated indictment are details of transactions routed through numerous Kingston-affiliated entities, and companies controlled by Dermen, to allegedly launder the tax credits.
Kingston-run companies included United Fuel Supply and A-Fab Engineering. The Kingstons also moved funds through accounts of the Latter Day Church of Christ, the extended Kingston clan’s polygamist organization.
Federal prosecutors said the Kingston group, also known as the Order, has about 3,500 members in several Western states. Jacob and Isaiah Kingston are sons of John Daniel Kingston, the group’s leader.
After the grand jury began investigating the Kingstons in 2014, the brothers and their mother conspired to obstruct justice by destroying records at Washakie offices and other locations, prosecutors alleged.
Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency investigators raided the locations Feb. 10, 2016.