In California, a billion-dollar con artist sentenced to 11 years in prison

One of the leaders of a solar energy scam involving nearly a billion dollars has been sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison, California justice announced on Tuesday.

Paulette Carpoff, 51, had led a vast pyramid scheme with her husband Jeff between 2011 and 2018, attracting around twenty investors who thought they were financing the development of a solar generator.

The couple pleaded guilty in 2020 to criminal association for wire fraud and money laundering, and Jeff Carpoff was sentenced the following year to 30 years in prison.

The couple had raised $910 million from 17 investors, but of the 17,000 devices they claimed to have made, at least half had never actually seen the light of day.

Jeff and Paulette Carpoff had kept at least $140 million for their own use, with which they bought jewelry, 148 cars — including actor Burt Reynolds’ 1978 Firebird — a baseball team, luxury real estate…

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