Idaho Pols Set to Rubber Stamp a Fraudulent Nuclear Scheme

On December 16, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit alleging that a promoter of a merchant nuclear plant, to be built in Payette County, duped their investors and lined their own pockets by manipulating the stock price when raising funds for the project.

The SEC alleges that Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. (AEHI) has raised millions of dollars from investors in Idaho and throughout the U.S. and Asia while fraudulently manipulating its stock price through misleading public statements that conceal the secret profits reaped by its CEO Donald L. Gillispie and Senior Vice President Jennifer Ransom. Gillispie has touted the company as a tremendous investment opportunity that could rival Exxon Mobil in profitability, despite the fact that AEHI has essentially no revenue and minimal operations.

The SEC suspended trading in AEHI stock earlier this week.

“In light of AEHI’s ongoing efforts to raise funding while promoting itself through a daily deluge of press releases, we needed to take immediate action to get to the bottom of the company’s misleading statements,” said Marc Fagel, Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. “Documents we have obtained to date indicate a scheme to personally enrich the CEO at the expense of investors.”

According to the SEC’s complaint filed today in federal district court in Boise, AEHI’s fundraising was facilitated by a scheme to drive up the company’s stock price, both through frequent press releases (at least 87 in 2010 alone) and efforts of paid stock promoters to manipulate the stock price. The SEC alleges that the company has made multiple misrepresentations, including claims that its executives had such confidence in AEHI that they had not sold a single share of company stock. Records obtained by the SEC show that Gillispie and Ransom have instead secretly unloaded extensive stock holdings and funneled the money back to Gillispie.

The Snake River Alliance (SRA) has been calling BS on this project for years, even provoking AEHI to file suit against the SRA to shut them up, claims which were later dropped. And while the feds were receptive to SRA's concerns, state and local political leaders had nothing but disdain for the nuclear watchdog group when conducting the hearing which approved the necessary zone change.

As the evening of Dec. 2 wore on at the public hearing and a half-dozen SRA representatives took to the microphone, P & Z commissioner Farrell Rawlings ripped into the group.

"Look here," Rawlings lectured. "Our governor is in favor of this. Every mayor in our county is in favor of this. Our chamber of commerce is in favor of this. I'm offended that there's not one positive thing that you and your group has contributed to this discussion."

* * *

When Gillispie told commissioners, "This county will have more money than you'll know what to do with," many of the commissioners beamed.

This latter comment caused Randy Stapilus to presciently observe: "Don’t know about you, but when we encounter promises like that, whether spoken, or on late night TV or in spam emails, we check to make sure we’ve still got our wallets. Evidently, people in Payette are a little more … trusting. At least, those who make the decisions there." Certainly with the SEC filing, SRA's assertions that the project was a scam to keep Gillispie in Maserati's was vindicated. Shareholders weren't the only ones completely taken in by Gillispie's representations. These pols now owe the Snake River Alliance an apology and a debt of gratitude.

Fort Boise has more from a blogger dogging AEHI's efforts.

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Fortunately, God protects

fools and little P & Zs.