Three Charged in Energy Pricing Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 23, 2013|
Michael Mateja, 27, of Massachusetts; Matthew Morgan, 39, of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania; and Samuel Puleo, 26, of Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, are charged by information, filed yesterday, with a fraud scheme involving energy contracts, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. According to the information, Mateja and Puleo owned and operated Coastal Energy LLC, a company that brokered energy contracts between commercial businesses and energy suppliers.
Between June 2011 and February 2013, Mateja and Puleo solicited clients whom they had sign contracts (“fixed all-inclusive”) stating that Coastal would negotiate fixed rates for each kilowatt hour. Alternatively, an “energy only” contract provides the customer with a rate for kilowatt hours but does not include additional charges for transmission and capacity. According to the information, Mateja and Puleo altered contracts to change the terms from fixed all-inclusive” to energy only” without the clients’ knowledge. The end result that that the total per kilowatt hour price that Coastal’s clients had to pay were higher than the rates they agreed to pay.
Mateja and Morgan are each charged with wire fraud. Mateja and Morgan are also charged with obstruction of justice for an alleged attempt to delete documents located on Coastal’s computers.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of at least 20 years in prison, three years’ supervised release, $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Axelrod.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.