Companies, including one from Clear Lake, fined for scheme involving Hopkinton ethanol plant

CLEAR LAKE — Two companies were sentenced to probation for one year and ordered to pay millons in restitution in a federal fraud case.

A judge ordered Energae of Clear Lake and I-Lenders to each pay more than one million dollars restitution and to forfeit more than $2.4 million. The sentencing is related to a scheme by Darrel Smith of Forest City and his brother David Smith, of Pocatello, Idaho.

Court information shows Darrell Smith used money from his investment clients to pay expenses related to the operation of a now-defunct ethanol plant in Hopkinton.

Darrell Smith was sentenced in 2018 to more than 14 years in federal prison for his conviction of one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. David Smith was sentenced to two months in federal prison in 2019 after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding.