ELM SPRINGS, Ark. — Two men have been convicted for several charges including fraud and money laundering in connection with a proposed Elm Springs, Arkansas wind farm.
Jody Douglas Davis, 46, of Searcy, Arkansas, and Phillip Vincent Ridings 64, of North Little Rock, Arkansas were convicted Friday (Sept. 3) for Wire Fraud, Aiding and Abetting Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and Aiding and Abetting Money Laundering. Their charges stem from the development of a wind turbine that was never operational and a proposed wind farm project in Elm Springs, Arkansas, that was never constructed.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Davis, and Ridings formed a liability company in Texas in 2014 called Dragonfly Industries International, LLC (“Dragonfly”) and Arkansas Wind Power (“AWP”), an Arkansas limited liability company located in Springdale.
From June 2014 to March 2018, Davis and Riding conspired with Cody Fell of Springdale along with others to collect money from investors telling them their money would be used to build a prototype of a wind turbine and develop wind farms in Elm Springs, Iowa, and other states.
Davis and Riding collected $700,000 from investors which they used for their own personal use.
Evidence also revealed that Davis and Riding lied to investors with the following statements:
- That Dragonfly’s wind turbine could produce more energy than the traditional three-blade wind turbines commonly used on existing wind farms.
- That nationally recognized engineering firms and a University of Memphis mechanical engineering professor had “validated” the Dragonfly wind turbine’s design.
- that the Department of Defense has expressed strong interest in acquiring Dragonfly’s wind turbines for use in combat zones; that a prototype of the wind turbine was nearing completion.
- That leaders of underdeveloped countries were ready to buy Dragonfly’s wind turbines.
- That a $10 million grant from the Department of Energy was soon to be awarded to Dragonfly.
None of these representations were true.
Fell pled guilty to Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion in December 2018. He will be sentenced on September 17, 2021.
The sentencing date for Davis and Ridings has not yet been scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.