Greg Jaunich has been down this road before.
In 2007, Jaunich of North Oaks was indicted for overcharging a utility company and the state of Minnesota $500,000 for wind-generated electricity.
But as that case played out, he already was raising money for another wind farm venture, dubbed the Averill Project, according to a new indictment filed this week.
Those charges, filed in federal court in Minnesota, include five counts of mail fraud. All of the counts are related to letters Jaunich sent to investors in June 2008, in which he allegedly made false claims about the progress of the Averill Project, which was planned for Clay County, Minn.
Jaunich did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.
Jaunich, 52, didn’t tell his investors on the Averill Project that he was under criminal investigation, according to the new indictment. And he didn’t use the $1.5 million he raised for the Averill Project for the wind farm, “but instead diverted almost all of the funds to his own personal use,” the indictment says.
Jaunich was an early entrant into the Minnesota wind energy market in the 2000s, working as a consultant and raising money for projects.
But the 2007 charges – which resulted from the $500,000 overcharge – led to him pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud. Jaunich was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison in Duluth and was released in July of 2010.
The indictment filed this week claims that Jaunich didn’t tell investors in the Averill Project in 2006 and 2007 that he was under investigation until after the money came in and until after he was indicted in the fall of 2007 for submitting false invoices to Xcel Energy.
The latest indictment also claims that Jaunich “made false representations to the investors concerning the progress” being made on the Averill Project, provided false financial statements to investors about the use of their funds and mischaracterized the nature of the federal criminal investigation once it surfaced.
He’s scheduled for an initial court appearance on Aug. 12 in Minneapolis.
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