Former Oregon Dept. of Energy employee pleads guilty to racketeering

Salem, Ore. – A former employee of the Oregon Department of Energy admitted to fraudulently obtaining nearly $300,000 in kickbacks from the sale of Business Energy Tax Credits.

According to the Oregon Department of Justice, Joseph John Colello pleaded guilty to racketeering, receiving bribes, aggravated theft, tax evasion and official misconduct.

Colello’s role was to assist in BETC credit transactions, and he was directly involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of BETC credits.

“We are pleased that Mr. Colello has taken responsibility for his fraudulent conduct against the state, which involved a scheme to make money off BETC credits,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “This program was intended to benefit Oregonians, but instead a state employee took advantage of a well-meaning program for his own benefit.”

Colello received $291,017.04 worth of kickbacks in the scheme. He has yet to be sentenced.

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