April 25, 2017
Louisiana Man Charged in Fraud Scheme Involving the Sale of Propane Gas Refrigerants
On April 25, 2017, Michael Wagner was charged in Louisiana District Court in Jefferson Parish with attempted theft for allegedly attempting to defraud multiple customers by fraudulently representing sales of propane gas.
The investigation revealed that between February 17, 2012 and September 12, 2012, and November 15, 2012 and July 19, 2013, Wagner marketed and sold propane gas as a refrigerant under the company names Superfreeze and FrostyCool, claiming the product was a drop-in replacement for Freon. The actual product was a highly flammable propane-and-isobutene mixture. It was shipped in interstate commerce in normal DOT-39 refrigerant cylinders that did not have the specialized pressure-relief device required for the transportation of propane gas by DOT’s hazardous material regulations.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI, with assistance from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Louisiana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commission. The prosecution will be handled by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.