Embattled Utah Biofuel Company with Polygamous Ties Should Pay Millions for Breach of Contract, Jury Says
by Paighten Harkins (Salt Lake Tribune) A Box Elder County biofuel company fined for exploiting federal tax credits by importing fuels they claimed they produced may pay millions to one such importer after the company abandoned a $90 million deal in 2014.
On Wednesday, a federal court jury in New York recommended Washakie Renewable Energy pay over $25.3 million to Lifetree Trading PTE for damages suffered in the breached agreement.
Washakie Renewable Energy is associated with the Kingston Group, a Utah-based polygamous church with fundamentalist Mormon beliefs that is also known as the Davis County Cooperative Society and the Latter Day Church of Christ.
The legal battle began November 2014, six months after Washakie officials signed a contract with Lifetree to import 90,000 metric tons of Argentine soy methyl ester, or biofuel.
Lifetree agreed to deliver the fuel in three 30,000 metric ton shipments, according to the contract, but when the first shipment arrived, Washakie refused to accept it.