A wall of coal at Peabody Energy's North Antelope Rochelle mine in northeast Wyoming. (Peabody Energy)

On Oct. 21, Michael J. Ruffatto, promoter of the never-built Two Elk energy project, pleaded guilty to a federal criminal fraud charge. The charge involved false billing under a federal National Recovery Act stimulus grant intended to help get the project built.

Federal prosecutors stated in court that Ruffatto used the stimulus grant as his personal piggy bank, indulging himself with luxury cars, jewelry, oriental carpets, and foreign travel.

WyoFile has covered the Two Elk project at length, in a series titled the Two Elk Saga and subsequent developments.

To hear reporter Rone Tempest discussing the Two Elk story on the Jackson radio station KHOL, listen below.



Rone Tempest was a longtime national and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. In 2004 he was part of a team of reporters to win the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the massive wildfires in Southern...

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