St. Joseph man pleads guilty in solar rebate fraud
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A co-owner of a St. Joseph solar energy installation company pleaded guilty in a fraudulent rebate scheme that netted the company more than $1 million.
Federal prosecutors say 38-year-old Richard Schonemann pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy and making false statements. Under the plea agreement, the government will not recommend a sentence of more than 15 months and the forfeiture of $350,000.
Schonemann owned part of U.S. Solar in St. Joseph, which sold and installed solar-powered panel systems across northwest Missouri. Prosecutors say the company received $1.39 million in fraudulent rebates between 2011 and 2013. Prosecutors say he and a co-conspirator also falsified usage reports needed to certify that installed systems were still running.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports the co-conspirator hasn't been named.
No sentencing date was scheduled.