SALT LAKE CITY — Washakie Renewable Energy CEO Jacob Kingston is asking a federal judge to halt a multi-million dollar debt collection case against him.
It comes just after he was arrested on an indictment accusing him of taking more than a half-billion in reusable fuel tax credits.
FOX 13 first reported earlier this month Kingston was being taken to court by a supplier to Washakie Renewable Energy, accused of shifting $10 million to a bank in Turkey to avoid paying LifeTree Trading. The Singapore-based LifeTree Trading claims it contracted with Washakie to provide biofuel resources that were never collected, costing it millions and it’s now trying to collect a $32 million judgment in New York.
Kingston declined to comment to FOX 13 outside that court hearing, but his lawyer denied the accusations.
In a court filing hours ahead of Kingston’s appearance on criminal charges on Wednesday, his attorney Gabriel White asked for LifeTree’s lawsuit to be put on hold pending the criminal case.
“This Motion is made because a stay of this civil action is necessary to protect Defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights in connection with the above-referenced criminal proceeding, which arises from the same underlying facts as this civil action. Defendant will be greatly prejudiced by his inability to meaningfully defend himself in this civil action if forced to proceed prior to resolution of Defendant’s criminal case,” White wrote.
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Kingston and his brother, Isaiah, accusing them of fraud in connection with $511 million in tax credits from the IRS. At a hearing Wednesday, prosecutors claimed the men were a flight risk and alleged they wired $134 million to a bank in Turkey.
Prosecutors claim Jacob Kingston was arrested last week en route to Salt Lake City International Airport where he was destined to fly to Turkey.