Solar energy mega-fraudster Jeff Carpoff sentenced to 30 years in federal prison

Jeff Carpoff, former owner of a California solar energy company turned Ponzi operation, said goodbye to "150 luxury cars, 32 properties, a subscription to a private jet service, a semipro baseball team, a NASCAR racecar sponsorship and a suite at the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium," according to AP. Carpoff gave them up for a 30-year stay in federal prison. His wife Paulette could end up serving 15 years.

"He claimed to be an innovator in alternative energy, but he was really just stealing money from investors and costing the American taxpayer hundreds of millions in tax credits," [Acting U.S. Attorney] Phillip Talbert said.

The company was involved in $2.5 billion in investment transactions between 2011 and 2018, costing investors $1 billion, prosecutors said earlier. Among the investors was Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which lost some $340 million.

"Carpoff's egregious scheme fueled his rapacious desire for luxury and prominence with showy, public expenditures," said Sean Ragan, special agent in charge of the FBI's Sacramento Field Office.