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Solyndra Execs Refuse to Answer Questions About Bonuses, Customers

 

Solyndra executives have refused to say whether they received bonuses after the company began to falter, and they have not revealed the names of their customers to Department of Justice investigators, according to ABC News.

The executives and their attorneys are not providing this information to investigators, because they say it may become the subject of litigation, the network reported.

Solyndra has been at the center of national controversy because it failed despite a $535 million federal loan guarantee.

Last week, Harrison and Solyndra's chief financial officer, W.G. Stover, invoked their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in testimony before a House subcommittee.

In a filing in bankruptcy court Delaware Friday, the Justice Department cited the "the inability or refusal of the corporate officers to answer material questions," and asked that the court turn management of the company over to an independent trustee.

Also on Friday, Bloomberg news, citing an unnamed agency official, the FBI's investigation into Solyndra focuses on "accounting fraud."

Agents from the FBI and the Department of Energy's Inspector General's raided the company's Fremont-factory Sept. 8, a week after the Fremont-based solar panel manufacturer abruptly announced it was declaring bankruptcy and laying off most of its 1,100 workers.

The Washington Post, also citing an unnamed government official, reported Friday that "the criminal probe of Solyndra is focused on whether the company and its officers misrepresented the firm’s finances to the government in seeking the loan or engaged in accounting fraud."

Six weeks before Solyndra shut down, company CEO Brian Harrison wrote to Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) and Diane DeGette (D-Colorado), telling them that the company was projected to double its revenues in 2011. Stearns is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcomittee on Government Oversight.

Harrison's letter stated that there was “strong demand in the United States” for its shipments and that the company was expected to double the megawatts of panel production shipped this year.

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