2 Lehigh Co. men charged in energy pricing fraud scheme

A Massachusetts man also involved in Coastal Energy scam

Posted: 1:13 PM EDT Oct 23, 2013   Updated: 1:14 PM EDT Oct 23, 2013

Two Lehigh County men, and a third man from out of state are facing fraud charges after officials said they ran an energy pricing scheme.

Samuel Puleo, 26, of Fogelsville, Matthew Morgan, 39, of Schnecksville,and 27-year-old Michael Mateja of Massachusetts, are accused of charging commercial clients a higher rate for energy than originally contracted.

Federal officials said Mateja and Puleo owned and operated Coastal Energy, LLC, a company that brokered energy contracts between commercial businesses and energy suppliers.

Between June 2011 and February 2013, officials said the men solicited clients whom they had sign contracts stating Coastal would negotiated fixed rates for each kilowatt hour, then altered the contracts without the client's knowledge.

Mateja and Puleo are each charged with wire fraud.

Mateja and Morgan are also charged with obstruction of justice after they allegedly tried to delete documents on Coastal's computers.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years supervised release and at least $250.000 in fines.

The FBI investigated the case which will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys Office.