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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) _ A 43-year-old founder of a Pasco renewable energy company has been sentenced more than eight years in prison for defrauding the government of $9.5 million.

Scott C. Johnson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. in Richland. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to conspiracy to defraud the government and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Johnson founded Gen-X Energy Group, an alternative fuel company formerly based in Pasco and Moses Lake.

Prosecutors said Johnson and others falsely claimed to have produced millions of gallons of renewable energy from food waste. They sold renewable energy credits for $57 million and filed false claims with the IRS for $9.5 million in alternative fuel tax credits.

He is fifth person to be sentenced for the fraud scheme.

The Tri-City Herald says Johnson apologized at his sentencing Thursday.