A federal judge refused Thursday to dismiss criminal charges against two men accused of scamming investors in a proposed wind farm project at Elm Springs. Jody Douglas Davis and Phillip Vincent Ridings are charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud, money laundering and aiding and abetting money laundering. Both men have entered not guilty pleas. They will be tried together, and the trial is set for Sept. 20 in Fayetteville.
Articles filed under Legal from Arkansas
A proposed wind farm in Elm Springs that prompted a special election to de-annex its chosen site was always a scam, according to a recent guilty plea by one of its principal boosters. ...Instead, the scheme bilked investors out of at least $397,330, according to the guilty plea entered Thursday by Cody Fell of Springdale. Fell is a contractor and principal in the firm.
The federal lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Jonesboro by Golden Bridge LLC and Downwind LLC, the two landowner organizations, will test the legality of a decision by the U.S. Department of Energy to aid construction of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line through provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
DOE is resorting to a small provision that has never been used, from a law passed more than a decade ago. This law states that it does not “affect any requirement of any Federal or State law relating to the siting of energy facilities.” In other words, even though the Obama Administration approved the project, many legal experts think that Clean Line and DOE must return to the Arkansas Public Service Commission for final approval on the project’s location.
The CEO of the company hoping to build the state's first wind farm west of Springdale has sued two of the project's opponents for defamation.
The suit alleges that Jonathan Hamby and Vivian Hamby published defamatory statements on the Facebook page about Dragonfly, including that they "have a long criminal history of scamming people out of money".
A Washington County circuit judge will decide whether to allow Elm Springs, a small town west of Springdale, to absorb the unincorporated site of a proposed wind farm.