Ex-Oregon employee gets 5 years in tax credit bribery scheme

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Oregon Department of Energy official has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in a bribery scheme in which he helped arrange the sale of state energy tax credits.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Joe Colello was also ordered Tuesday to pay $81,000 in restitution.

Investigators said Colello accepted nearly $300,000 in kickbacks from Seattle-based energy consultant Martin Shain. In return, Colello helped Shain arrange the sale of tax credits the agency issued to developers and owners of renewable energy and conservation projects.

Colello pleaded guilty last month to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.

Shain has pleaded not guilty to charges of forgery, bribery, tax evasion, racketeering and theft.