When put in front of a congressional committee, the executives of Solyndra will plead the Fifth Amendment. Image: Flickr / @jbtaylor / CC-BY

The story of Solyndra has been one of both boom and bust. Originally, Solyndra was the darling of national energy policy. On Sept. 6, Solyndra declared bankruptcy. On Sept. 8, the FBI raided the offices of Solyndra, and executives are now promising to invoke the Fifth Amendment when questioned.

Solyndra’s bankruptcy

Solyndra was originally a solar panel manufacturing company that received millions in government loan guarantees. The guarantees were expected to help create jobs and expand the company, but the company eventually went under. This was after a delay in opening a new plant and the layoff of 1,100 workers. The bankruptcy filing was intended to stop the collection of more than $1 billion of debts and investor funds that Solyndra would have otherwise owed.

Allegations of funding misuse

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has opened investigations into Solyndra. There are allegations that Solyndra’s federal loan guarantees were offered without the proper oversight or due diligence about the company’s financial health. Republican lawmakers have said that the loans may have been pushed through in order to give the Obama administration a figurehead for their financial policies.

Executives plan on taking the Fifth

In a letter addressed to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the attorney for Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison indicated that the CEO and CFO would both take the Fifth Amendment when questioned. This decision has been made in light of the fact that the FBI and the Justice Department have both opened criminal investigations into Solyndra and the possible misappropriation of the funds for Solyndra. The CEO and CFO have said through their lawyers, however, that:

“Nothing of substance should be read into Mr. Stover’s decision to heed his counsel’s advice and assert his Fifth Amendment rights.”


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