Minn. AG sues wind power developer alleging fraud - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minn. AG sues wind power developer alleging fraud

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Minnesota attorney general, Lori Swanson, has filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court alleging that Renewable Energy SD defrauded customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The lawsuit alleges the company and owner, Shawn Dooling, of Shorewood, continually broke promises to clients. 

At the height of the recession, Warren Netherton, invested in a wind turbine to be more economical and help the environment.  He planned to erect a turbine on some land he had purchased south of Wycoff.

"They can be incredibly convincing and have data, some of which holds up and other parts just do not," Netherton said.

The company promised Netherton's turbine would be up and running within a few months, but months went by before construction even began.

"I've got over 10,000 pounds of steel and concrete that's in the ground. That's it," Netherton said.  "That's what I'm paying fifteen hundred dollars a month for right now."

More than a dozen other clients of the wind energy company came forward to file complaints against Renewable Energy SD.  According to the complaint, the company failed to deliver turbines on time, many of those that were installed failed to work properly and people were pressured to buy expensive upgrades.

"We thought this was a good way to help out the country, help the economy, help ourselves and it would have advantages over investing our money in other ways," Netherton said.  "Instead, it's just been throwing it down a hole that has not generated any income."

The investigation is ongoing and the Attorney General is seeking to stop the company's windmill sales.

In a statement, Renewable Energy SD says it is reviewing the allegations and will address any concerns customers may have.

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