A company called 350Green LLC showed off its wares at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show and secured a $1.9 million contract with the city to deploy those 280 stations, the Chicago Tribune says. The company, run by Mariana Gerzanych and Timothy Mason, also struck smaller deals in Pennsylvania and the San Francisco Bay Area. All told, 350Green secured almost $3 million in federal grants.
Now, the pair has been charged with fraud for allegedly falsely securing those grants, according to the Tribune. The company, which was supposed to come up with $6.8 million of its own to build out its networks, allegedly wrote fake checks and drummed up fake invoices to create the image of a functioning company. The company allegedly stiffed at least one contractor as well. Oddly, the company's website is still up.
350Green did end up installing about 170 chargers, but many didn't work. Last year, the network was given over to JNS Power & Control Systems, which turned over the fast-charging stations to the NRG eVgo program. That network has about two-dozen fast chargers throughout Chicago.