Investigations

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Former Employee of Fuel Delivery Company Pleads Guilty in Motor Fuel Theft Case

On October 30, Martin L. Guitard, former terminal supervisor Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle, WA to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, theft of interstate shipments, and filing a false Federal income tax return in connection with 1.49 million gallons of fuel stolen from the KMP terminals over a period of several years. In March 2006, a Federal grand jury indicted Guitard, two other KMP employees, and two employees of General Transport Company (GT), a fuel delivery firm in Seattle, WA.

KMP detected the amount of fuel discrepancies through an internal audit in October 2004. Our investigation disclosed that the five conspired to steal fuel from KMP by using a misappropriated maintenance code. The stolen fuel was then sold at or below market rates to unsuspecting owners of fuel service stations operating in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. The conspirators received approximately $3.9 million in sales of the stolen fuel and an estimated $750,000 in Federal and state motor fuel taxes went uncollected. Two of the KMP employees were sentenced in July 2006 and were ordered to pay $235,360 in restitution and serve 18 months in prison for their participation in the scheme. Guitard and the remaining defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on March 16, 2007. The ongoing investigation is being conducted jointly with the IRS-CID and Port of Seattle Police.