A New Jersey businessman, who once ran a successful solar panel company, was sentenced to federal prison last week after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2019.
Charles E. Kartsaklis, who previously lived in Erial in Gloucester Township, but now resides in Davenport, Florida, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution after he illegally obtained $3 million from the U.S. Treasury after he fabricated the installation of solar panels for five New Jersey businesses.
As president of Code Green Solar LLC, which is now defunct, Kartsaklis went to great lengths to make it seem his company installed the solar panels in order to receive the federally funded rebates.
Kartsaklis admitted that after the five businesses rejected his proposals in 2011 and 2012, he drafted and finalized them anyway. In his guilty plea, Kartsaklis admitted he forged the signature of the owners of the businesses, created emails from a utility company that falsely stated meters were installed at the properties and he even submitted fraudulent annual reports detailing how efficient the solar panels were.
The total amount of restitution Kartsaklis will have to pay is $3,081.94. U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman also sentenced him to three years of supervised release. Kartsaklis will begin serving his sentence at a federal prison in Florida at a later date.
It is the latest development in Kartsaklis’ saga from a prominent business owner and charitable community member in South Jersey to filing for bankruptcy and facing federal charges.
A 2018 NJ Advance Media report outlined how the company was once doing more than $130 million in revenue a year across five states and Puerto Rico, but soon lost it all.
According to court records, Kartsaklis failed to pay attorneys and was having cash-flow problems as early as April of 2017, eventually leading to an arbitrator ruling the company had to pay $15 million to its funding partner, Sunnova, over a contract dispute.
But nearly all of that unpaid money was wiped out after he filed for bankruptcy. Kartsaklis only had to pay $150,000 of it, according to court documents, while the rest was discharged.
Kartsaklis could not immediately be reached for comment. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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