Politics

Colorado officials continue Abound Solar fraud investigation

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Colorado officials have confirmed they are investigating Abound Solar, focusing on allegations of securities fraud, consumer fraud, and financial misrepresentation, the Denver Post reports.

“The district attorney emphasizes that the office is looking into allegations, and there is always a presumption of innocence,” the Weld County District Attorney’s Office said in statement, adding that more information will be released “to protect the integrity of this active and ongoing investigation.”

However, no criminal charges have been filed, according to the DA’s office.

A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation earlier this month found that internal documentation and testimony from sources within Abound Solar show that the company was selling a faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.

“Our solar modules worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,” an internal source told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The company knew its panels were faulty prior to obtaining taxpayer dollars, according to sources, but kept pushing product out the door in order to meet Department of Energy goals required for their $400 million loan guarantee.

The next week, Colorado Republican Rep. Cory Gardner announced he was signing on to a letter requesting that Energy Secretary Steven Chu provide documents and information regarding what the Energy Department knew about Abound Solar’s actions while giving it taxpayer dollars.

“Recent reports and publicly available documents indicate that persistent technological problems contributed to Abound’s inability to remain commercially viable and ultimately, its bankruptcy,” said the letter to Chu.

The next day, Denver’s 7NEWS reported that the Weld County District Attorney’s office was investigating Abound Solar, scrutinizing the company’s finances, and last week, the DA’s office confirmed with the existence of an investigation with the Denver Post.

Abound Solar announced it was filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in June, arguing that cheap Chinese solar panels flooding the market caused their demise. The company was given a $400 million taxpayer loan guarantee, drawing down about $70 million before DOE cut them off in September 2011 — the same month the Solyndra scandal began.

According to the Denver Post, the investigation into securities fraud is due to allegations that Abound knew it had defective solar panels while looking for investors, and the consumer fraud investigation stems from allegations that the company knowingly sold defective panels to customers.

Abound is also under investigation for allegedly misleading financial institutions while the company was seeking loans.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.