SALT LAKE CITY — The trial for a co-defendant in the massive Kingston biofuels fraud case has been delayed until January.
The trial of Lev Aslan Dermen, 53, will now begin on Jan. 27 after defense attorneys received several boxes of legal material from government officials in Luxembourg regarding Dermen’s finances, according to an order to continue the trial filed on Friday.
Federal prosecutors did not object to the defense’s motion, where Dermen’s attorneys requested several weeks to analyze the information sent to the United States by Luxembourg government.
The defense also expressed how they were having difficulties finding a forensic accounting expert “who could analyze the complex financial information contained within the Luxembourg material and contextualize this information with the broader set of financial records,” the order read.
Judge Jill Parrish granted the defense’s request and filed an order Friday to push back the trial.
Dermen is just one of the many people indicted in a scheme that defrauded the federal government of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of biofuel tax credits. At the center of the scheme is Washakie Renewable Energy, a biofuels plant located in Box Elder County.
Jacob and Isaiah Kingston, the co-owners of WRE, were indicted with Dermen and charged in connection with the $511 million tax fraud scheme.
Jacob and Isaiah also are the sons of John Daniel Kingston, a senior member of a polygamist group also known as The Order and the Davis County Cooperative Society.
In July, the brothers and two other family members — their mother, Rachel Ann Kingston; and Jacob’s wife, Sally Louise Kingston — entered into plea agreements.
In Jacob Kingston’s plea agreement, he admitted that the company falsely claimed biofuels tax credits, and said that the company’s reported biofuel production was no where near they what the company produced.
“While WRE was capable of producing some amounts of biodiesel, in no year did WRE ever produce more than 8.5 million gallons,” Kingston’s plea statement said.
Jacob Kingston described Dermen as his co-conspirator in the scheme who reportedly told Kingston that he would protect the company from the authorities.
“I began to file false claims in larger and larger amounts,” Kingston said in the plea agreement. “Dermen not only directed me on what amounts to file for, which would be protected by his ‘umbrella’ of federal law enforcement contacts, but he also agreed that I should use my staff and contacts to create fake business transactions to support these claims.”
Dermen has been held under maximum security at the Salt Lake County Jail since July, when a judge ruled that Dermen had been improperly using other inmate’s phone access PIN numbers while at the Weber County Jail. Dermen was reportedly trying to tamper with potential witnesses that could be called during his trial.
He is being held without bail.