Ex-Energy Department official pleads guilty to tax fraud

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Oregon Department of Energy official has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the bribes he received to help arrange the sale of state energy tax credits.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Joe Colello pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and filing a false tax return.

Colello, who managed tax credit sales for the department, was accused of accepting nearly $300,000 in bribes from Seattle-based energy consultant Martin Shain.

Federal prosecutors say Shain and Colello set up a business to funnel the bribes and attempted to hide the income.

Colello pleaded guilty to state charges in June.

Colello is scheduled to be sentenced in Marion County court next month. His federal sentencing is scheduled for July.