FBI agents executed search warrants on Thursday at the headquarters of California solar firm Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan from the federal government before filing for bankruptcy last week.
Agents executed multiple search warrants at the company's headquarters in Fremont as part of an investigation with the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, according to FBI spokesman Peter Lee. Lee said he could not provide details about the investigation.
Solyndra is a solar-panel manufacturer once touted by President Barack Obama as a beneficiary of his administration's economic policies. It announced last week that it was laying off 1,100 workers and filing for bankruptcy.
The company was held up as the model for government investment in green technology. In addition to the $535 million loan guarantee, it received visits from the president and other state and federal officials.
Hey, anybody know what happened to that 535 million? Anyone? From PJM:
A beleaguered Solyndra spokesman took a wild guess at what the FBI might be looking for:
Solyndra spokesman Dave Miller said the search came as a surprise, but he emphasized the company is “fully cooperating” with federal officials. He said he did not know the purpose of the search, but he speculated it could have something to do with the $535 million in loan guarantees the Department of Energy awarded to Solyndra.
While the “Anybody seen $535 million around here?” quote in the headline is of course a joke, Business Insider adds some key context to the raid:
The Obama administration’s relationship with the company has come under scrutiny since the bankruptcy was abruptly announced last week. The Daily Caller reported that between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, “Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing.”