"Green Box" business man indicted for $9 million green energy fraud

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) -- A De Pere business man has been indicted by a grand jury for 14 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.

Ronald Van Den Heuvel of De Pere is accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $9 million in loans and investments for his eco-friendly "Green Box" business plan.

The indictment alleges that Van Den Heuvel claimed that Green Box could turn post consumer waste into usable consumer products and energy.

Instead, of using the money on his business, the indictment claims Van Den Heuvel used the money on personal expenses; including a new Cadillac Escalade, pricey Green Bay Packers tickets, and court-ordered support payments for his ex-wife.

Van Den Heuvel allegedly defrauded a range of victims, including individual acquaintances, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), a Canadian private investment firm, and Chinese investors in the EB-5 immigrant investor program.

In October of 2011, WEDC provided Green Box NA Green Bay, LLC with a loan of $1,116,000 to purchase equipment to create 116 jobs in the "Green Box" operation.

Instead, the indictment says he submitted false certifications claiming to have spent the funds properly.

In January of 2012, WEDC also awarded Green Box with a $95,000 grant to reimburse the company for costs to train new workers. Van Den Heuvel is accused of submitting fraudulent time records for training that never happened.

Counts 1-10 of the indictment charge Van Den Heuvel with executing the scheme to defraud by use of interstate wire communications. Maximum penalty on each count includes not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both, plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and a period of supervised release.

Counts 11-14 charge Van Den Heuvel with unlawful financial transactions involving the ill-gotten gains. The maximum penalty for each individual count includes not more than 5 years in prison a fine of $250,000 or both. Plus a mandatory $100 special assessment and a term of supervised release not to exceed three years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are investigating.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Wednesday that it filed a civil lawsuit against Van Den Heuvel and Green Box Detroit, LLC in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.