This morning, federal agents conducted a raid on the offices of Solyndra, a now-bankrupt California solar power firm that received $535 million in federal loans thanks to a “green energy” program touted by President Barack Obama.
The raid was carried out as part of a joint operation between the FBI and the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General, according to Public Affairs Specialist Peter D. Lee.
Lee said that he couldn’t discuss the nature of the raid because the matter is under seal.
As early as March, questions were swirling about the role political influence may have played in Solyndra’s selection as the Obama administration‘s first loan guarantee recipient. At the time, federal auditors had flagged the loan saying some applicants may have benefitted from preferential treatment.
One of the primary investors in Solyndra was Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, who served as an Obama “bundler” raising funds during the 2008 presidential campaign and elections.
Kaiser has not yet commented on the matter. His company, Argonaut Ventures, as well as its affiliates have been the biggest shareholder in Solyndra, according to SEC filings. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra’s parent company, according to bankruptcy records filed on Tuesday.
President Obama paid a personal visit to the Solyndra plant last year and his Energy Department ensured it was the first to get approval of a federal loan guarantee. The $535 million federal investment helped the company build a large manufacturing facility.
Last week, Solyndra abruptly closed its doors, said it was laying off 1,100 workers, and then filed for bankruptcy.
Executives with the company say Solydra’s failure was the result of intense competition from China.
The plot thickens! More in the video below.
- FBI Raids ‘Connected’ Energy Firm Solyndra – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Feds execute search warrants at Calif. solar firm (sfgate.com)