Italy's “Lord of the Wind” Gets 9 Years For Financing Mafia

By Irina Slav - Oct 03, 2019, 4:00 PM CDT

Italy’s “Wind King”, or the “Lord of the Wind” Vito Nicastri has been sentenced to nine years in prison for channeling profits from his wind power business to Cosa Nostra’s Matteo Messina Denaro.

The Guardian reports that Nicastri was stripped of his companies and property back in 2013 during an investigation into his ties with the Sicilian mafia. The assets that prosecutors seized were worth about $1.7 billion (1.3 billion euro).

Since then, the prosecution has established that Nicastri had “close ties to Matteo Messina Denaro” and other “high-level” contacts in the Sicilian mafia. The wind power investor was accused of using criminal money to invest in his enterprises and playing the middleman between mafia bosses and local politicians by paying bribes to get permits for the manufacturing and delivery of wind turbines. These turbines were delivered abroad to countries including Malta, Denmark, and Spain, and the profits made from these sales were channelled back into the Cosa Nostra and to Matteo Messina Denaro personally.

Denaro, who has been referred to by the media as the last Mohican of the old mafia, is living in hiding and has done so since the early 90s. According to the Palermo prosecutors, Vito Nicastri has been one of his main financial donors.

Initially, the prosecution asked for a 12-year sentence for Nicastri but the court ruled in favour of a shorter sentence.

Before his downfall, Nicastri operated as many as 43 wind and solar energy companies and had 98 properties. At the time of his arrest and asset seizure, in 2013, the BBC quoted the head of the Palermo-based anti-mafia agency, Arturo de Felice, as saying "This [wind energy] is a sector in which money can easily be laundered."

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Comment by Whetstone_Willy on October 5, 2019 at 11:04pm

http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1212055

Ex-partner of Boston wind exec charged

Italians nab soccer club president in energy fraud

By Christine McConville

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Massachusetts native who helped found controversial wind-energy developers Cape Wind and First Wind expressed surprise late last week at news that his one-time partner in a separate wind-energy company in Italy has been arrested and charged with fraud.

“I read about it in the papers, and I was very surprised,” Brian Caffyn said from Hong Kong, where he is now building wind-energy farms in China and the Philipines.

“I know of no fraud with (former partners) Oreste (Vigorito) and IVPC,” said Caffyn, a Cape Cod native and Babson College graduate.

IVPC is Italian Vento Power Corp., a company that Caffyn, 50, once owned with Vigorito, a well-known Italian soccer club president. The pair worked together for seven years in Italy and even lived next door to each other for a time.

Last week, the Italian finance police arrested Vigorito, his Sicilian business associate Vito Nicastri and two others, according to the Financial Times. Eleven others were charged in a probe dubbed “Gone with the Wind” that began in 2007, the Financial Times said.

The group is accused of committing fraud by obtaining millions in public subsidies to build wind farms that either never worked properly or did not supply the promised amounts of energy, the Financial Times reported.

Vigorito has no connection to Cape Wind or First Wind.

Caffyn, who has amassed a fortune starting wind-energy companies, sold his interest in Cape Wind in 2002. He sold his interest in IVPC in 2005, according to First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne. Caffyn remains a shareholder and director with First Wind, Lamontagne wrote in an e-mail statement.

Last February, as part of a parallel probe, Italy’s anti-Mafia police arrested eight others, including an alleged Mafia boss, and accused them of corruption in a wind farm project, the Financial Times reported.

According to corporate filings, Caffyn was a founding partner in Cape Wind, the wind-energy turbine project slated for Nantucket Sound. He went on to establish UPC Wind Management LLC, now known as First Wind.

In the United States, where the Department of Energy has recently set aside $100 billion in cash grants for the clean-energy sector, both Cape Wind and First Wind have been accused by critics of taking advantage of pro-alternative energy programs for financial gain.

In 2006, the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University undertook the most comprehensive review yet of Cape Wind’s public subsidies.

“What we found was quite remarkable,” David Tuerck, the institute’s executive director, said at the time. “Cape Wind stands to receive subsidies worth $731 million, or 77 percent of the cost of installing the project and 48 percent of the revenues it would generate. The policy question that this amount of subsidy raises is whether the project’s benefit is worth the huge public subsidies that the developer gets.”

Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rogers said the wind farm would only receive government monies after it is up and working, and meeting certain production criteria.

“It’s all performance-based,“ he said.

In September, after First Wind affiliates received $115 million in federal stimulus money, U.S. Rep. Eric J. Massa (D-N.Y.) wrote to President Barack Obama, calling the grants “very alarming” and saying the company “abused the public trust.

“No electricity has been produced for sale out of the projects,” but the company “has already collected production rewards for non-existent energy,” Massa told Obama.

First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor, a former Enron executive, responded in a letter to Obama, saying that First Wind’s New York wind farms have produced 133,370 megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy. “We are proud of our work in New York and appreciate the grants we received,” he wrote.

Caffyn, whose 2007 divorce records show he amassed an $82 million fortune building wind farms around the world, said late last week that all the completed projects he has been involved with were properly constructed and met the promised performance standards.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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