An ex-leader of a failed project to build a South Texas power plant must serve two years in prison after prosecutors say he embezzled $1.5 million from the company.
Former Chase Power Development CEO John David Upchurch of Spring was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge in Houston. The 54-year-old Upchurch pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and has repaid the stolen funds.
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Prosecutors say Upchurch, who was hired in 2008, submitted fake invoices as part of the Las Brisas Power Plant planned for Corpus Christi. Investigators say Upchurch, until mid-2012, embezzled company funds for personal expenses including travel, country club memberships, fishing equipment and a hunting trip.
The Texas coal-fired plant project was abandoned in 2013 amid regulatory issues and pollution concerns.