CAUGHT ON TAPE: Solyndra Destroying Millions of Dollars of Materials with Bankruptcy Trustee’s Blessing

January 20, 2012

Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, expressed outrage upon learning of the news report:

"First we learn of the ridiculous request for $500,000 in Solyndra employee bonuses. Now, we find out that these employees are apparently destroying millions of dollars worth of equipment. Taxpayers are already on the hook for this half a billion dollar jobs program gone bad, and yet rather than try to recoup every dollar possible, the Obama administration stands by as Solyndra gets the green light to shatter millions of dollars worth of materials into oblivion. At a time when we are confronted with over $15 trillion in debt and soaring unemployment, the administration's egregious disregard for taxpayer dollars is beyond belief."

In Case You Missed It

FREMONT (CBS 5) - After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars. But CBS 5 caught them destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.

At Solyndra's sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.

Forklifts brought one pallet after another piled high with the carefully packaged glass. Slowly but surely it all ended up shattered.

And it's not a few loads. Hundreds of thousands of tubes on shrink-wrapped pallets will meet a similar demise.

Solyndra paid at least $2 million for the specialized glass. A CBS 5 crew found one piece lying in the parking lot. Solyndra still owes the German company that made the tubes close to another $8 million.

So why is a bankrupt company that owes a fortune to creditors, including American taxpayers, throwing away millions of dollars worth of assets?

Solyndra is not commenting. But court documents reveal the company received permission from the bankruptcy trustee to abandon the high grade glass, the court agreeing that it was of "inconsequential value" because the cost of storing them exceeds their value.

An employee for Heritage Global Partners, the company in charge of selling Solyndra's assets, told CBS 5 they conducted an exhaustive search for buyers but no one wanted them.

But how exhaustive was that search? The tubes were never included on the list of Solyndra assets put up for sale at two auctions last year.

If they were, David Lucky told CBS 5 he would have bought them. "We certainly would have bid on them, yes," Lucky said.

Read the full story and watch the alarming KCBS 5 video HERE.

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