GreenTech, Which Raised $37 Million Under Former CEO Terry McAuliffe, Files for Bankruptcy

In this July 6, 2012 photograph, former President Bill Clinton speaks during the unveiling of GreenTech Automotive's new electric MyCar at their manufacturing facility in Horn Lake, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP/Rogelio V. Solis

GreenTech Automotive, the electric car company which former Democratic National Committee Chairman and long-time Clinton ally Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe served as CEO from 2010 to 2012, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company “received at least $37.5 million in cash investments before McAuliffe resigned as chairman in December 2012,” Breitbart News reported in 2013.

Funded by an additional $100 million from Chinese investors through the controversial EB-5 visa program received after McAuliffe resigned as CEO in December 2012, (bring the total to more than $140 million from Chinese investors, along with $5 million in loans from the state of Mississippi (currently in default) which McAuliffe played a key role in securing, the company failed to produce more than a handful of electric cars throughout its troubled history.

“The company shut down its plant in Mississippi last year, and the company has faced a series of lawsuits filed by investors in the company, who have called GreenTech a “scam perpetrated by savvy and politically connected operatives and businessmen” to exploit Chinese investors hoping to come to America. The bankruptcy filing cites a $7.5 million judgment won by 12 investors and says several similar suits are pending,” The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The Times-Dispatch continued:

GreenTech Automotive’s bankruptcy petition cites 76 articles by the website Watchdog.org it says “negatively affected governmental, investor and public perception of GreenTech” and prompted investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

GreenTech in 2013 sued Watchdog.org, operated by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, for $85 million. A judge dismissed the case in 2014. . .

GreenTech reported between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities and listed its assets in the same range.

Among its creditors, GreenTech lists debts totaling $4.8 million owed to the state of Mississippi and Tunica County, which offered economic development incentives to entice the car company to locate its manufacturing facility there.

 

“An ongoing FBI investigation is looking into the possibility that donations to Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign may have come from foreign nationals. That is against the law,” Breitbart News reported in 2016.

“The focus of the investigation may be whether $120,000 in contributions made to McAuliffe’s successful 2013 campaign for governor of Virginia by Chinese billionaire Wang Wenliang through a company he owns in America are legal,” Breitbart News reported:

 

“Federal investigators are looking broadly at donations to McAuliffe and at his personal finances,” the Washington Post reports.

McAuliffe ran unsuccessfully in 2009 for the Democratic nomination for governor of Virginia. He lost the primary that June to State Senator Creigh Deeds, who in turn lost the general election in November to Republican Bob McDonnell.

McAuliffe’s successful 2013 campaign for governor received a $120,000 donation from a company controlled by Chinese billionaire Wang Wenliang, while his unsuccessful 2009 campaign received a $50,000 donation from a Chinese corporation (Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Corporation) controlled by another Chinese businessman, Xiaolon “Charles” Wang, and a $25,000 donation from Chinese born Jack Xi Deng, an executive with another Chinese corporation (Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Holdings) controlled by yet another Chinese national, Yung “Benjamin” Yeung.

The man behind the 2013 contributions to McAuliffe, Wang Wenliang, has also pledged to make a $2 million donation to the Clinton Global Initiative, according to the Post.

The Chinese company whose executive donated $25,000 to McAuliffe in the 2009 campaign (Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Holdings) also paid Bill Clinton $300,000 in 2008.

“The Chinese company that donated $50,000 to McAuliffe in the 2009 campaign (Hybrid Kinetic Automotive Corporation) merged with GreenTech Automotive and in October 2009, four months after he lost the 2009 Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, McAuliffe became chairman of the company. He held that position until December 2012 when he resigned, but, according to press reports, he remains the largest shareholder in WM GreenTech Automotive, the successor company to GreenTech Automotive,” Breitbart News reported in 2016:

“Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, through his U.S. businesses. Wang was previously delegate to China’s National People’s Congress, the country’s ceremonial legislature,” CNN reported on Monday.

Wang Wenliang heads up China Rilin Construction and Dadong Port Group.

“West Legend Co., the New Jersey affiliate of Rilin Enterprises, a Chinese firm led by Wang [Wenliang], gave $120,000 to McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign and inauguration,” the Postreported on Tuesday.

Wang Wenliang has been a generous patron of Democratic politicians and liberal causes in the United States. CNN reported, “Wang also has been a donor to the Clinton foundation, pledging $2 million. He also has been a prolific donor to other causes, including to New York University, Harvard and environmental issues in Florida.” . .

 

“Wang [Wengliang] holds U.S. permanent resident status, which makes him eligible to donate to McAuliffe’s campaign,” the Postreported on Tuesday.

 

Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, played a key role in raising money for GreenTech Automotive through the EB-5 visa programs during the time McAuliffe served as the company’s CEO and his sister served as the U.S. Secretary of State,  Breitbart News reported:

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 2013, as Breitbart News reported, DHS official Alejandro Mayorkas was investigated for his dealings with McAuliffe:

Mayorkas is the target of an investigation launched by the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Homeland Security into allegations that he improperly overruled a decision to deny a visa to a Chinese national. The indivdual was invested in Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive, a startup manufacturer of electric vehicles, through the controversial EB-5 program.

The 2016 FBI investigation into McAuliffe ended with no recommendation of further actions against the long-time Clinton ally.

But subsequent developments have cast a shadow on the conclusions of that investigation.

“The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use,” the Wall Street Journal reported in October 2016:

Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.

Mr. McAuliffe and other state party leaders recruited Dr. McCabe to run, according to party officials. She lost the election to incumbent Republican Dick Black.

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other top FBI officials were aware for at least a month of new Hillary Clinton emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop before alerting Congress and reopening its investigation, according to a report,” Breitbart News reported earlier this month:

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that McCabe learned about the thousands of emails by September 28, 2016, but it was not until October 28, 2016, that then-FBI Director James Comey informed Congress about them, 11 days before the election.

The lag time is one focus of the Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into whether political bias at the FBI affected the Clinton email investigation or the Trump Russia investigation, according to the report.

McCabe stepped down as FBI deputy director on Monday, reportedly after FBI Director Christopher Wray got an update on the inspector general’s investigation and consideredmoving McCabe to another job, which would be an effective demotion. Since McCabe was planning to retire in mid-March — the earliest he could do so and receive full retirement benefits – he decided to go on terminal leave instead.

News of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by GreenTech Automotive, following so quickly after the resignation of former FBI deputy director McCabe, may spark an interest in revisiting the 2016 FBI investigation.

 

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