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Reynolds' former firm embroiled in court action

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Former taoiseach Albert Reynolds chaired the forerunner of Global Environmental Energy, a firm
involved in transforming waste into energy, called Life Energy Technology

Former taoiseach Albert Reynolds chaired the forerunner of Global Environmental Energy, a firm involved in transforming waste into energy, called Life Energy Technology

Former taoiseach Albert Reynolds chaired the forerunner of Global Environmental Energy, a firm involved in transforming waste into energy, called Life Energy Technology

A controversial alternative energy firm associated with Irishman Chris McCormack has become embroiled in a US court action amid allegations that a Democrat congressman in Louisiana sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in order to endorse a number of companies.

Global Environmental Energy Corp (GEEC) is based in the Bahamas and promotes what it claims is a unique 'biosphere' system that can transform waste into energy.

Its forerunner was previously known as Life Energy Technology, when it was chaired by former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

In 2003, Life Energy availed of the services of US Democrat congressman William Jefferson, of New Orleans, to secure access to US government administration officials in an attempt to promote the company's biosphere system in countries such as Iraq.

Mr McCormack confirmed at the time that Mr Jefferson had helped Life Energy gain access to US officials.

However, Mr McCormack denied last week that any of his companies ever enlisted the services of Mr Jefferson. Mr Reynolds said yesterday he had never heard of Mr Jefferson. Mr McCormack was uncontactable yesterday.

Mr Jefferson is facing a number of charges, including racketeering, receiving bribes, money laundering, fraud and abuse of public office. If convicted, following a trial that begins next month, he could receive a 235-year sentence.

US prosecutors also claim that in 2003 Mr Jefferson assisted a Louisiana-based arm of Life Energy, headed by Noreen Wilson, in its efforts to sell the biosphere systems to officials in Africa.

Agreement

It is alleged that Mr Jefferson sought payments from the firm for a family member prior to promoting the system, and wanted an agreement that he would receive commission from any sale.

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Mr McCormack denied that Ms Wilson had any association with his Global Environmental operation, but she was previously described as the company's vice president of US operations.

In Louisiana company records that have failed to be updated by the firm, she remains listed as the president of the company, while Mr Reynolds remains listed as a director. However, Mr Reynolds has not had any business relationship with Global Environmental Energy since May 2005.

Mr McCormack's Bahamas-based Global Environmental generates no revenue and has just reported accumulated losses of more than $128m. It posted a loss of $24.3m last year. Mr McCormack was paid a bonus of $387,000 and a base salary of $553,000. He received additional compensation totalling $993,000. Mr McCormack is entitled to receive a fixed annual bonus that it is not linked to any performance targets.

Global Environmental also states that over the next number of years, nine employees are entitled to potential accumulated pay worth $76m.


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