Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Full of it

Not surprisingly he didn't say anything about being a convicted felon either:

As he sold investors on an improbable plan for turning Inland Empire cow manure into electricity, W. Patrick Moriarty had an answer for everything.

With a folksy delivery, the Orange County businessman promised cutting-edge technology, a respected engineering firm and tax-exempt financing to extract methane gas from mountains of manure and use it to generate enough power to light a small city.

.... What Moriarty and his business partner, Wayne Stephens, didn't tell Erde and numerous others who altogether invested more than $10 million was that their company, Chino Organic Power Inc., had no licensed technology, no equipment, no permits — not even a guaranteed supply of manure.

.... Another thing Moriarty didn't tell Erde and the others was that he had gone to prison in the 1980s in what then-U.S. Atty. Robert C. Bonner called "the most significant corruption case in recent California history."

Not surprisingly, the lofty energy plan has come crashing down, followed by a bankruptcy and accusations from angry investors, a number of whom have filed lawsuits alleging fraud by Moriarty and Stephens, a San Bernardino County businessman.

.... Both Moriarty and Stephens have acknowledged in recent interviews that their plan never got off the drawing board. But they said they didn't defraud anyone, and they insisted that the electric plant would have worked if it hadn't been hampered by an uncertain energy market and litigious investors.

"I am absolutely very sorry if anyone, including me and Wayne, lost money — especially me," said Moriarty, 75.

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