On Monday a Lubbock businessman pleaded not guilty to a $40-million dollar wire fraud scheme. Shortly after 3 p.m. Jeffrey David Gunselman, 30, remained calm as he appeared in federal court still handcuffed and wearing a blue jail jumpsuit.
Gunselman waived the reading of his charges and pleaded not guilty to a 79-count indictment. He was then read the possible penalties that are attached to the lengthy indictment that includes 51 counts of wire fraud, 24 counts of money laundering and 4 counts of giving false statements under the Clean Air Act. Adding up all the penalties, the possible punishments totaled 1,268 years in prison and more than 19-million dollars in fines.
According to court documents between September 2010 to October 2011, Gunselman and his Lubbock business, Absolute Fuels, are accused of creating bogus renewable energy credits and selling them over the Internet. Federal court records say the company attempted to make bio-diesel fuel but it never met quality standards. Gunselman sold the credits anyway, according to the court records.
During this time Gunselman lived very lavishly, buying expensive vehicles, properties and collector's items. Court documents say he owned 11 vehicles including a 2011 Bentley, a Shelby Cobra 427, and $2.5-million private jet. He also bought a home in Borne, near San Antonio, worth $2.65-million.
Those same documents say Gunselman bought an M60 Patton Tank, an anti-aircraft gun, a Vietnam-era flamethrower and WWII-era mortars. Federal agents found more than $23,000 in cash in one of Gunselman's houses.
Federal officials have indicated they will try to recover at least some of the $40 million on behalf of the victims by seizing Gunselman's property.
Gunselman's trial date was set for October 1st in San Angelo. Gunselman's attorney says the trial will be in San Angelo because the Lubbock Federal Courthouse will be under construction for renovations during that time.
Gunselman is currently being held at the Lubbock County Detention Center without bail. It will be up to U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings to determine whether Gunselman is considered a flight risk and whether he can be let out on bond.
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