THIS DATE IN HISTORY: 2011: FBI Raids Solyndra

September 8, 2012

On September 8, 2011, just two days after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, the FBI raided the solar manufacturer’s Fremont, California facility. The raid occurred nearly two years to the day following the administration’s rushed decision to grant Solyndra a $535 million taxpayer backed loan guarantee. After conducting an extensive investigation into the half a billion dollar loan guarantee to Solyndra, full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) authored the “No More Solyndras Act,” H.R. 6213, to phase out the mismanaged loan guarantee program. Next week, the U.S. House will vote on the “No More Solyndras Act” to ensure taxpayers are never again left holding the bag for the administration’s risky government bets.  

“One year after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy and was raided by the FBI, we continue to sift through the fallout and the Obama administration’s picking of winners and losers seems to reach a new low by the day. In Solyndra, the Obama administration delivered a raw deal to taxpayers, who stand to lose over half a billion dollars while billionaire Obama backer George Kaiser and Solyndra’s other investors could walk away from the bankruptcy with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks,” said Upton and Stearns.

FBI Raids 'Connected' Energy Firm Solyndra
ABC News
September 8, 2011

The FBI has confirmed to ABC News that federal agents are conducting a search this morning at the offices of Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California solar power company that received $535 million in federal loans under a green energy program touted by President Obama.

The raid is part of a joint operation between the FBI and the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, Public Affairs Specialist Peter D. Lee said Thursday morning. Lee said he could not disclose the reason for the raid because the matter is under seal. Karen Sulier, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy's inspector general's office, confirmed its part in the probe.

Beginning in March, ABC News, in partnership with iWatch News/the Center for Public Integrity, was first to report on simmering questions about the role political influence may have played Solyndra's selection as the Obama administration's first loan guarantee recipient. Federal auditors had flagged the loan, saying some applicants had benefitted from special treatment.

One of the lead private investors in Solyndra was an Oklahoma billionaire who served as an Obama "bundler," raising money during the 2008 presidential campaign.

The bundler, George Kaiser, has declined to comment. His firm, Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra's parent company, bankruptcy records filed Tuesday show.

Energy officials have repeatedly denied those allegations, saying the selection process was even handed. Until two weeks ago, the Obama administration held out Solyndra as a model for its green energy program, which was devised to create jobs and spur investment in cleaner sources of energy. President Obama personally visited the Solyndra plant last year, and his Energy Department made it the first to win approval of a federal loan guarantee. The $535 million federal investment enabled the company to build a sprawling manufacturing facility. ...

Read the full September 8, 2011, ABC News article online here.

Click HERE to read the committee’s extensive report detailing the findings of its investigation into the Department of Energy’s management of its loan guarantee program.

For more information about the “No More Solyndras Act,” please click HERE.

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