A California electrician was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $481.3 million in restitution Tuesday for his role in a $1 billion Ponzi scheme that conned Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and other companies, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors said that Joseph W. Bayliss, 46, was hired by the now shut down company DC Solar, which was based in Benicia, California. Though he was an electrician, he was asked to pose as a licensed engineer charged with inspecting mobile solar generator units on trailers, which the company marketed between 2011 and 2018 as capable of providing lighting at events and emergency power for cellphone companies, according to the AP.

However, DC Solar owners started advising investors that if they leased the generators back to the company, they would be able to profit from federal tax credits. DC Solar would then let other companies use the leased generators, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said that earlier investors into DC Solar were paid with money provided by newer investors, while the generators themselves never produced much profit, the AP reported. Generator production was ultimately halted completely, and prosecutors alleged that half of the company’s reported stock of 17,000 generators was nonexistent.

Bayliss helped the scheme go unnoticed by covering up the fact that the company had stopped building generators, prosecutors said. Though he knew it was false and an effort to deceive DC Solar investors,…

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