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Acton couple charged with defrauding US Treasury of $50 million in energy grants

An Acton couple was arrested Thursday and charged with defrauding the federal government of more than $50 million in tax free energy grants, according to the US Attorney’s office.

Christopher N. Condron, 45, and Jessica Metivier, 41, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, and three counts of wire fraud, prosecutors said in a statement.

They were released on conditions following an appearance in US District Court in Boston Thursday.

The Globe was unable to find a telephone number for Condron or Metivier Thursday night.

The couple allegedly submitted fake applications to the US Treasury Department for tax-free grants available to fund alternative energy projects, such as a wind farm or a trash-to-energy facility.

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From May 2009 to June 2013, Condron and Metivier submitted fake grant applications on behalf of four different Massachusetts companies: Acton Bio Energy, Concord Nurseries, Kansas Green Energy, and Ocean Wave Energy, according to prosecutors.

In each application, the couple claimed that Metivier bought, activated or started to build a clean energy product. They included three bio-fuel gassification systems, at a cost of $88 million, and a wind farm project that cost $84 million, prosecutors said.

The couple sought to be reimbursed for more than $50 million of those costs, which prosecutors said they never incurred.

They also received grants for more than $8 million, according to the statement.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com