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Defense: Buyers Knew Renewable Credits Were Fake

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A lawyer for a Maryland man accused of selling $9.1 million in fraudulent renewable energy credits says his client isn't guilty because buyers knew they were fake.

The lawyer also says Rodney Hailey of Perry Hall can't be guilty of laundering the proceeds because he didn't commit fraud.

A federal prosecutor, meanwhile, said in opening statements Monday in Baltimore that the case is only about whether or not Hailey produced the renewable fuel before selling the credits. Prosecutors say their witnesses and evidence will show he didn't.

Instead, they say Hailey pocketed the money and bought cars, homes and jewelry. The case has prompted calls in Congress for a probe of the program that requires oil companies to produce a percentage of renewable fuels or buy credits from other producers.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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