Friday, September 9, 2011

Solyndra Raided by FBI After Bankruptcy Filing

Remember what I was saying about this not being a good month for Federally subsidised solar panel manufacturers? Looks like it's about to get worse for California-based Solyndra, Inc.

Federal agents executed a search warrant at the Northern California headquarters of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection this week despite receiving $535 million in federal stimulus loan guarantees.

The FBI and Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General confirmed that their agents were involved in the raid Thursday at Solyndra's offices in Fremont but declined to discuss what they were investigating. FBI spokesman Peter D. Lee said documents related to the search had been sealed.

Last week, Solyndra abruptly announced that it was ceasing operations and laying off 1,100 employees, a move the company attributed to intense foreign competition and a "global oversupply of solar panels." The company filed for bankruptcy Tuesday.

Solyndra spokesman Dave Miller said the federal raid came as a surprise but that the company was "fully cooperating" with investigators.

He said he did not know what the federal agents were looking for but speculated it could be related to the $535-million loan guarantee, of which the company drew $527 million.

A skeleton team of about 100 employees is still working at the factory during a "wind-down" process, Miller said.

The raid came about 16 months after Obama visited Solyndra and praised the federal government's investments in clean energy and other sectors.
It's also been revealed that company officials from Solyndra made no less than 20 trips to the White House between March 2009 and April 2011, underscoring the cozy relationship between the company and the Obama Administration.

In late May 2011, the White House highlighted Solyndra as a success story thanks to the 2009 stimulus- also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act- in a short video on the White House website.

It was also reported on Friday that officials from the Administration and Department of Energy sat in on Solyndra's company meetings.
The Energy Department was keeping a close eye on Solyndra during those crucial months – sitting in on board meetings as an observer as part of the loan restructuring, iWatch News and ABC reported Thursday. That raises key questions: Did DOE miss obvious warning signs of the company's troubles in the final months before its collapse?
Last month, after receiving close to $60 million in aid from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before moving their facilities to China, Evergreen Solar filed for bankruptcy protection. Less than a week later, Intel spinoff SpectraWatt had also filed for bankruptcy.

[Hat tip- Gateway Pundit]

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