Consultant gets 4 years for tax fraud tied to solar case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Seattle-based energy consultant has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for engaging in a fraud scheme involving solar energy tax credits with a former Oregon Department of Energy employee.

Martin Shain was also ordered Tuesday to pay over $520,000 in restitution.

Shain pleaded guilty to tax fraud and conspiracy for evading income taxes on $1.3 million in commissions he collected after he and ex-Energy Department manager Joe Colello schemed to enrich themselves by selling the tax credits.

Their plot called for Colello to tip off Shain with names of prospective tax credit buyers and sellers. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Colello made it appear Shain had brokered existing deals so Shain could collect a commission then kick back some of it to Colello.

Colello was sentenced in April to five years in prison for accepting $300,000 in bribes from Shain.