URBANA — A federal grand jury indicted the owner of a former Danville business for grant fraud on Wednesday.
Joseph Samuel Kozicki, the owner and chief executive officer of AA Solar, Inc., will be issued a summons to appear in federal court in Urbana at a later date, said U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Sharon Paul.
According to the indictment, Kozicki applied for and received a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in March 2010. The grant money was to go toward the purchase and installation of equipment for a manufacturing facility to make solar tracking systems at 1303 East Voorhees Street in Danville, the indictment stated.
The indictment alleges that AA Solar provided false documents to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; submitted the same invoice on multiple occasions to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; used some of the grant money for Kozicki’s personal benefit; failed to pay the vendors when it received the federal money; and tried to avoid detection of Kozicki’s scheme by law enforcement.
The company failed to establish a production line for solar tracking systems — and sold very few of them — despite being provided more than $1.5 million in grant money, the indictment states.
Kozicki could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and fines of up to $1 million.