Mar 4
2011

Ronnie Gene Nichols Jr. pleaded guilty March 4 to a charge of theft for stealing money from investors who thought they were investing in a biodiesel plant in Hunt County.

A Collin County state district judge sentenced Nichols to eight years in state prison.

Nichols and other individuals associated with Greenway Energy Partners LLC, the alleged developer of the plant, falsely told investors their money was protected by an insurance policy and that their investment would earn a return of 33% a year over five years.

The Texas Department of Insurance in 2009 denied Nichols' application for a license to sell insurance, saying he "engaged in fraudulent or dishonest acts or practices."