It can be, as evidenced by this story: “Bay Area Couple To Be Jailed For Massive Ponzi Scheme Worth $1 Billion.”
A Martinez couple who was operating a seemingly legitimate business selling solar generators pleaded guilty Friday to various charges stemming from a Ponzi scheme that netted them $1 billion in fraudulent income — affording them an extremely lavish lifestyle.
Ponder that for a moment–$1 billion in fraudulent income. That might be better than the Bidens! How did this Ponzi scheme work?
Jeff and Paulette Carpoff launched DC Solar in Benecia to provide trailer-mounted, mobile solar generators for off-grid uses — like for large outdoor events, emergency situations, and more.
So far, so good.
But, as the Associated Press reports, “the company morphed into a Ponzi scheme by telling investors they can take advantage of federal tax credits by leasing the generators back to DC Solar, which would then provide them to other companies for their use.”
What a business model! I will lease a product to you, but wait! Rather than use it, you lease it back to me. Then I can lease it to someone else, and he in turn can lease it back to me! And so on. This is obviously idiotic, and it wouldn’t be a plausible scheme in a sane market. Why, then, did it work, at least for a while?
The key point: the fraudsters “[told] investors they can take advantage of federal tax credits by leasing the generators back to DC Solar.” Wind and solar energy are inefficient, unreliable and uncompetitive. They exist only because of a complex web of subsidies and mandates that have turned “green” energy into the great cronyism scam of the 21st century. No wonder it was plausible to “lessees” that it made sense to lease the mobile solar generators back to DC Solar in order to take advantage of federal tax credits. For all I know, it could be true.
The owners of DC Solar are going to jail. But the real malefactors, the businesspeople, activists and politicians who promote subsidies and mandates for “green” energy, are still walking around freely, soaking taxpayers and electricity ratepayers while lining their own pockets. What they are doing is not exactly a Ponzi scheme, but it is infinitely more destructive than the billion-dollar fraud perpetrated by the owners of DC Solar.