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California Pollution Credit Trader Indicted on Wire Fraud Charges

Release Date: 01/19/2005
Contact Information:


Contact: Stacie Findon 202-564-7338 / findon.stacie@epa.gov

(01/19/05) Anne M. Sholtz of Bradbury, Calif., former operator of a bankrupt Pasadena-based internet site called Automated Credit Exchange (ACE) was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles on six federal felony counts that allege she sent a series of faxes and e-mails that defrauded AG Clean Air, a New York-based company that trades in energy credits. Sholtz owned a company called Sholtz and Associates which later merged with a company called EonXchange. Sholtz and the companies used ACE to trade in air emissions credits called RECLAIM Trading Credits (RTCs). The charges claim that in 1999, Sholtz approached AG Clean Air and stated that Mobil Corp. needed to purchase a large number of RTCs for a refinery in Southern California. RTCs allow a company to emit specific quantities of nitrogen and sulfur oxides into the air. Sholtz allegedly told AG Clean Air that if it gave her $12.5 million to buy the RTCs, Mobil would re-purchase them for $17.5 million. The indictment alleges that Sholtz had no such agreement with Mobil, and AG Clean Air lost $2.5 million as a result of the alleged scheme. The case is being investigated by the Los Angeles Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.