Fraud charged in alleged fuel scam
John O'Brien May. 18, 2006, 5:53am
CHARLESTON - A pair of West Virginia-based companies have listed five defendants in a lawsuit that alleges they were scammed out of their money.
Delta Energy and Delwood Equipment Services allege Robert and Tracy Kizziah, Tampa Biofuels, Inc., Prado and Associates and Faustino Prado took their $150,000 with no intention of returning it.
The plaintiffs are seeking to recover that amount plus an addition $3 million in punitive damages.
P. Thomas Denny is representing the plaintiffs, who say they entered into an agreement with the defendants in fall of 2005 that stated they would provide $150,000 for the furtherance of the manufacturing a product known as "Biodiesel Fuel Oil."
They say it was agreed that the plaintiffs would be given there $150,000 back, and the profits from the product would be split equally.
The plaintiffs allege that there was never a chance of profit, and that Tracy Kizziah, an attorney, forged documents.
They say she "generated fictitious and false documentation, including but not limited to, false invoices, bogus partnership agreements and other legal documents."
They also charge Prado with using the Prado and Associates offices to generate false documents like blueprints.
"Plaintiffs believe that Tampa Biofuels, Inc., is not engaged in the business of manufacturing alternative fuels, but rather was formed by (the four other defendants) to be used as a vehicle to defraud third parties," the complaint says.
The punitive damage amount of $3 million is designed "to punish Defendants for their willful, wanton and intentional conduct," the complaint says.
Judge Tod Kaufman has been assigned the case.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-900