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California Men Guilty in $1 Billion Solar Energy Ponzi Scheme

Oct. 22, 2019, 10:24 PM

Two California men pleaded guilty Oct. 22 to their roles in a $1 billion Ponzi scheme based on purported investments in solar energy hardware, federal prosecutors announced.

Ronald J. Roach, a certified public accountant from Walnut Creek, was charged one day earlier alongside Martinez-based Joseph W. Bayliss, a general contractor. The scheme involved investments in solar energy devices, such as mobile solar generator units mounted on trailers, according to officials from the Eastern District’s U.S. Attorney’s office.

Roach and Bayliss were accused of using shady tactics to get new investors and more sales of the generators, and paying off their ...