FBI agents execute search warrants at Solyndra

September 8, 2011 6:31:04 PM PDT
The FBI swarmed the Fremont headquarters of the solar company that announced its bankruptcy last week.

The feds aren't saying much about why they're investigating Solyndra, but it is know that several government agencies were involved in Thursday morning's raid.

Seeing 20 to 30 FBI agents armed with search warrants was an early morning surprise at Solyndra, and by mid-afternoon they came out carting box after box of items.

The company's spokesperson said it's a mystery as to what the feds are after.

"I just saw the search warrant," said Solyndra spokesperson David Miller. "It said they were looking for documents. I don't know what specifically they're looking for or what it's related to."

The FBI is saying little other than who is behind today's action.

"We are executing search warrants regarding a joint Department of Energy and the Office of Inspector General Investigation," said FBI spokesperson Julie Sohn.

The assumption is the raid is related to the $535 million federal loan the company received, a deal criticized by Republican politicians but praised by President Obama, who toured the Fremont solar manufacturing plant last year.

On Tuesday, despite the federal stimulus it received, Solyndra declared bankruptcy. The company laid off most of its employees last week. A hearing is scheduled on Capitol Hill next week regarding the loan, and California democratic congressman Henry Waxman wants Solyndra's CEO on the hot seat.

Waxman charges CEO Brian Harrison with assuring lawmakers "that Solyndra was in a strong financial position and in no danger of failing."

As the raid was conducted Thursday morning, one of the laid off employees watched and told ABC7 he felt Solyndra had squandered its money.

"They were waiting it on the buildings," said former employee Muhammed Walahi. "We should not spend money for all of the buildings; we should keep focus on the production line."

Solyndra has two potential buyers, and according to Bloomberg News, there is concern about one fo those buyers that they would take the technology overseas. That would violate the terms of the stimulus loan the federal government gave Solyndra last year.


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