By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – Defunct biodiesel plant partner H. Max Speight of Martin, Tenn., said today that Tommy Tacker of Okolona knew all about a scheme to defraud the U.S. government for biofuels subsidy payments.
The men were partners in a Nettleton refinery that went bankrupt in 2006.
Speight, a disbarred attorney, said he and Tacker, who ran the facility, talked many times about how to falsify reports for payments to prop up the failing enterprise, which aimed to make biodiesel fuel from soybean oil.
The 66-year-old Speight spent more than two hours on the stand answering questions from prosecutor Robert Mims and defense attorney Robert “Chip” Davis.
He admitted to designing and signing most of the fraudulent documents, which claimed their company, Biodiesel of Mississippi Inc., was buying soybean oil and making hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel for commercial sales.
The U.S. District Court trial recessed for lunch about noon and will resume at 1:30 p.m. with Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson presiding.
About two weeks ago, Speight pleaded guilty to one count of a 10-count indictment and faces up to five years in prison.
If convicted on all counts, Tacker faces up to 50 years in prison and a fine of $2.5 million.
He’s likely to take the stand in his defense, but whether that will be today isn’t known.
Come back to NEMS360.com and read Wednesday’s Daily Journal for more details.