GreenTech Automotive, the controversial electric car manufacturer co-founded by close Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, has failed to make the first payment on a $3 million loan from the state of Mississippi.
McAuliffe is now Democratic governor of Virginia. GreenTech was financed in part by EB-5 visas granted to Chinese investors helped through the political approval process by Tony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s brother.
The Hattiesburg American reported on Monday:
Electric car maker GreenTech Automotive, which once planned to build 250,000 cars a year and invest $2 billion in an impoverished corner of Mississippi’s Delta region, has missed a debt payment to the state of Mississippi.
Mississippi Development Authority spokesman Jeff Rent confirmed Monday that the Tunica County company didn’t pay $150,000 due June 30. That was the first payment on a $3 million state loan.
“The Mississippi Development Authority continues to work with GreenTech Automotive as the company secures additional funding,” Rent wrote in an email. “This is the best course of action to protect the state’s investment and to keep Mississippians working at the plant.”
McAuliffe served as co-founder and chairman of GreenTech Automotive from 2010 to 2012. He remained a large shareholder in GreenTech Automotive after his resignation, but recently said he has divested all of his interests in the company.
In May, the Roanoke Times reported that “last year, GreenTech Automotive, the company Terry McAuliffe co-founded and described as ‘part of a rebirth for American manufacturing,’ produced just 25 vehicles and sold none, according to federal records.”
In 2013, Breitbart News reported that GreenTech Automotive “received at least $37 million in cash investments before McAuliffe resigned as chairman in December 2012”:
As of August 2013, the only visible assets associated with the privately held company are the manufacturing equipment located in a leased Horn Lake, Mississippi production facility and a 100 acre field in Tunica County, Mississippi the company says it has invested $6.6 million in to make it ready for the construction of a manufacturing facility where electric vehicles will be built. To date, that construction has not yet begun.
In a 2009 Private Placement Memorandum, the company said that invested funds “will permit GreenTech Automotive to purchased its optioned property [in Tunica County, Mississippi] and then build and operate an automotive plant that produces between 200,000 and one million automobiles each year.”
Company officials will not reveal details of the company’s capital structure, but Breitbart News has been able to put together this summary of investments in GreenTech Automotive from published reports and publicly available records, which totals $37.5 million:
$7.5 million from Chinese national EB-5 investors before the Department of Homeland Security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) California regional center director halted the issuance of I-526 petitions to GreenTech EB-5 investors in July 2010.
$5 million in loans from the state of Mississippi. $3 million was loaned directly to GreenTech Automotive, and $2 million was loaned to Tunica County to acquire the 100 acre field from a local businessman. That 100 acres was subsequently transferred to GreenTech by the Tunica County Economic Development Foundation. Breitbart News confirmed with the Mississippi Development Authority on July 22 that these loans have been completely disbursed.
$25 million in EB-5 investments made by 50 Chinese nationals made subsequent to a September 1, 2011 decision in which USCIS director and current Obama administration nominee to become the next Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas overruled career DHS officials and removed the halt on I-526 petitions placed in July 2010.
Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham played an important part in securing the $25 million obtained from 50 Chinese national investors for use by GreenTech Automotive, as Breitbart News reported in 2013:
Gulf Coast Funds Management has played a critical role in GreenTech Automotive Inc.’s financing plan, which depends on raising capital from foreign nationals who participate in the EB-5 program. Under that program, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Gulf Coast Funds Management is authorized to “work with investors in the [GreenTech Automotive Inc.] project through the EB-5 program, which offers foreign investors two-year green cards for themselves and their immediate families for $500,000 investments that create at least 10 jobs.”
Shortly after Virginia based American Immigration Center LLC took a controlling interest in Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC, Anthony Rodham, younger brother of Hillary Clinton, was named CEO of Gulf Coast Funds Management. The company’s offices were moved from New Orleans to a Tysons Corner, Virginia office which it currently shares with WM GreenTech Automotive Corp., the parent company of GreenTech Automotive Inc.
In addition, former Democratic Louisiana Governor Kathleen Branco, Margaret Richardson, former IRS commissioner during the Clinton Administration, and Randy Wright, a former Virginia official, were named to the company’s board.
Breitbart News spoke with one of the original owners of Gulf Coast Funds Management, George E. Brower II on Tuesday. Mr. Brower told us that he left the company in late 2008, shortly after the USCIS gave the company its EB-5 Regional Center designation. He told us “I wasn’t comfortable with the direction the others were taking it. They needed too much capital.”
Both Rodham and McAuliffe attempted to use their political influence at the Department of Homeland Security to help smooth the approval process for GreenTech Automotive’s Chinese national EB-5 investors:
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that “[i]n 2011, Mr. Mayorkas overruled two lower officers in his department, Citizenship and Immigration Services, which allowed GreenTech to recruit more Chinese investors.” This “reversal of his subordinates in favor of GreenTech was issued on Sept. 1, 2011, records show. It cleared the way for more than 50 green cards worth $25 million in Chinese investments.”
“An inspector general’s report published March 24, 2015, said McAuliffe received favorable treatment from former immigration services chief Alejandro Mayorkas in 2011, when the GreenTech chairman and future governor sought help getting EB-5 visas approved for foreign investors in his fledgling car company,” the Roanoke Times reported.
How the $37 million in cash raised by GreenTech Automotive under McAuliffe’s leadership remains an unanswered question.
One thing GreenTech Automotive has done very little of with that money is produce cars.
As the Roanoke Times reported:
A total of 75 people worked at the plant in rural Tunica County and at the company’s Virginia office — less than a fifth the number of employees the company projected in 2011. The operation lost money from 2009 to Aug. 31, 2015, the records state. A GreenTech business plan pledges better days to come, but the federal agency that decides whether the company’s foreign investors get green cards doesn’t buy it. Company projections, a federal official wrote, are “not credible by the preponderance of the evidence.”
That conclusion helped prompt officials to reject an EB-5 green card application filed by a GreenTech investor from Inner Mongolia, China, according to a 34-page U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision obtained by The Roanoke Times. . .
Under the federal program, foreign nationals who have invested at least $500,000 in a domestic business venture may receive green cards if they show their investment generated at least 10 jobs or comparable economic value. An investor seeking a green card may present either tax records of 10 qualifying new employees or a company business plan that demonstrates a need for 10 new employees and lists their likely hiring dates.
Nicholas Colucci, chief of the federal immigrant investor program, signed the decision that said companywide payroll at GreenTech, which operates an office in McLean in addition to the Tunica factory, totaled 75 people. The decision also dismissed a company projection that GreenTech would employ 125 people this year, 175 next and 250 in 2018.
The Hattiesburg American reported that the state of Mississippi has more invested in the project than just the $3 million loan to the company:
Besides the $3 million loan, Mississippi also loaned Tunica County $1.9 million to buy the site for GreenTech. The company has also been certified for state tax breaks exempting it from state income and franchise taxes for 10 years.
Mississippi officials said in May they were renegotiating agreements with the company because GreenTech failed in its pledge to hire 350 workers.
News of the financial troubles of the Clinton-aligned Chinese EB-5 investor financed GreenTech Automotive comes at a bad time for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whose questionable financial dealings have been well documented in the best-selling book by Breitbart Editor Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash.