Los Angeles Times

FBI, Energy Department raid offices of solar-panel maker Solyndra
Los Angeles Times

The FBI and the Energy Department’s inspector general’s office are executing a search warrant at the Fremont, Calif., headquarters of solar panel maker Solyndra. The raid came just two days after the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that raised serious concerns about the Obama administration’s granting of a $500-million-plus federal loan guarantee to Solyndra in the fall of 2009.

FBI Public Affairs Specialist Peter D. Lee confirmed that the company’s headquarters had been targeted, adding that the raid was still underway late Thursday morning. Lee said he was unable to disclose further details about what the FBI and the Energy Department was hoping to find. Lee said that the raid documents were under seal.

Solyndra is a manufacturer of solar power systems for rooftop applications on commercial buildings. Earlier this week, the company said in a press release that « global economic and solar industry market conditions » had forced it to suspend its manufacturing operations. The company has laid off its 1,100 full-time and temporary employees.

President Obama had visited Solyndra for a tour of the factor in May 2010, even as outside observers, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, were already raising doubts about the company’s ability to survive.