The owner of a San Francisco Bay Area solar energy company was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Tuesday for an audacious Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $1 billion.

It’s the biggest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the federal court district that covers inland Northern California, said Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert.


Jeff Carpoff, 50, received the maximum penalty after pleading guilty in January 2020 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Paulette Carpoff, 47, faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty at the same time to money laundering and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

The couple agreed to forfeit more than $120 million in assets, including a fleet of collector cars and vacation homes in the Caribbean, Mexico, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas purchased entirely with cash. Prosecutors said they intend to use the assets in partial restitution to victims of the fraud.

The government already auctioned off 148 vehicles, including the 1978 Firebird previously owned by late actor Burt Reynolds, netting more than $8.2 million.

FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, McGregor Scott, who was then the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, looks over a 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 displayed in Sacramento, Calif., that was among the vehicles seized by the federal go

The couple started DC Solar,…

Read more…