Another Bankrupt Solar Panel Co. Loses Million of Taxpayer Dollars
OCTOBER 16, 2012
On the heels of the Solyndra scandal in California, a bankrupt Colorado solar panel company that got nearly $70 million from the Obama Administration is under investigation by local authorities as the feds stand idly by.
Apparently federal officials see nothing suspicious about the operation, even though a huge chunk of taxpayer dollars have vanished in the deal, so county prosecutors have stepped up to the plate. The bankrupt company, Abound Solar, was based in Longmont (about 37 miles outside of Denver) and was approved to get $370 million in federal stimulus money from the Obama Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its disastrous green initiative.
Abound got $68 million before the DOE stopped payments in 2011 and American taxpayers will get stiffed because the firm went under and the money will never be recovered. Local prosecutors in the Colorado area where the firm set up its headquarters, Weld County, have launched a probe because they too have taken a hit.
The county gave Abound a hefty tax break when it set up shop in Longmont, according to the local news report, and now it wants to collect some of the cash. In all, Weld County is seeking nearly $1 million in unpaid 2011 property taxes, the news report says, and more than $800,000 in unpaid property taxes for 2012. County officials are also scrutinizing the firm’s finances.
Abound did shoddy work and never should have received public money, according to documents uncovered by the news outlet that reported the story this month. The records show that tens of thousands of solar panels had to be replaced for “low performance, underperformance” and “catastrophic failures.”
This brings to mind the Solyndra scandal in which the Obama DOE doled out $535 million to a fly-by-night northern California solar panel firm that eventually folded. The U.S. Treasury Department, which actually cuts the checks, expressed “serious concerns” about the risky deal, a federal audit later revealed, yet the Obama Administration fast-tracked it. That’s probably because Solyndra was bankrolled by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser.
Judicial Watch is investigating the Solyndra scandal and has sued the Obama DOE and Office of Management and Budget to obtain records involving the deal. Last fall JW submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking records from both agencies, but the DOE says it’s reviewing documents in preparation for public release. The Office of Management and Budget has totally blown off the request. This indicates that the administration is on cover-up mode
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