A series of wind turbines planned for the city of Jonestown is on hold after criminal charges were filed against one of the designers.
Charlie Malouff, the founder of the C.M Energies, has been arrested on charges of securing execution of a document by deception. C.M. Energies is the Taylor-based company which produces the wind turbines.
In an arrest affidavit filed by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Malouff is accused of manipulating grant applications that helped fund the turbine project. Eighteen turbines were planned, but only two were ultimately completed.
Mary Jo Woodall, an employee at the State Comptroller’s Office who was in charge of administrating the grant, was a close friend of Malouff and also arrested on the same charge.
The D.A.’s office believe the two worked together to fraudulently secure almost $2 million in grants from the Department of Energy.
However, according to the arrest warrant, the turbine never had a legit prototype and experts who examined the design considered it flawed and not commercially viable.
One of the turbine shafts was broken earlier this year.
Nobody at Jonestown City Hall was available for comment and C.M. Energies also declined to talk about the turbines. An employee said that news of the arrest is still new and they are unsure what it means for the future of the company.
The DA’s office said company employees quoted Malouff as saying he would flee to Mexico with guns if he ever felt he was being investigated by the government.