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Judge Voids Solar Leases in AZ Fraud Case

Photo credit: The Arizona Republic

Source: Mohave Valley Daily News

An Arizona judge has released hundreds of customers from their leases with a now-defunct rooftop solar installation company due to rampant fraud.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley of Tucson released 1,157 customers of Salt River Solar and Wind from their leases and sentenced the company’s owner to five years in prison last month.

Many of the customers who were released from their leases never saw their solar panels installed, despite paying deposits, The Arizona Republic reported.

Public records suggest Salt River Solar and Wind installed about 500 leased solar arrays in Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service territories from 2009 to 2012, and hundreds of additional systems were canceled in 2012 as the company ran into trouble.

Some Tucson Electric Power customers could be eligible for restitution because Fricker’s activities in that utility’s territory were what the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the FBI targeted for prosecution.

The Attorney General’s Office was flooded with complaints from around the state about equipment that was paid for but never installed, equipment that didn’t work, and customers who did not receive promised service.

Salt River Solar and Wind ceased operations in 2013 after the state revoked its license, but the attorney general’s office and the FBI continued their investigation.

Many customers paid their leases up-front, so releasing them from the contract won’t save them any money.

Prosecutors are encouraging potential victims of the company to call the attorney general’s office. Claims must be submitted to the court by Aug. 14.

Read more at Mohave Valley Daily News

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