In 2011, the Tunica County Economic Foundation purchased a 100 acre property and transferred ownership to GreenTech Automotive. At the time, Terry McAuliffe, current Virginia Democratic nominee for Governor, was chairman of the company.
Lynn Arnold, President of the Tunica County Economic Foundation, told Breitbart News on Monday that “the Tunica County Economic Foundation purchased the 100 acre property that it transferred to GreenTech Automotive in 2011 from C. Penn Owen.” In July, the company announced that it has spent $6.6 million on the site, and has now initiated a construction phase to build an electric vehicle manufacturing facility on the property.
C. Penn Owen Jr. is a major landowner in Tunica County, and a well connected Republican donor. Along with his son, C. Penn Owen III, he has contributed generously to the Mississippi Republican Party, the Senate Victory Fund, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and former Mississippi Republican Congressman Chip Pickering according to Federal Election Commission records. In the 1990s, the New York Times profiled Mr. Owen for his role in the development of casinos in Tunica County.
Documents filed with the IRS by the Tunica County Economic Foundation in 2011 show that it received a grant of $2 million from the state of Mississippi, which it used to purchase the land from Mr. Owen. That same year, when it transferred ownership to GreenTech Automotive, the IRS documents show that it stated the fair market value of the land was $1.88 million.
Breitbart News has learned that the 100 acres now owned by GreenTech Automotive is surrounded by 2,100 acres currently owned by Mr. Owen, which the Tunica County Economic Foundation has an option to purchase. Based upon the valuation of the 100 acres now owned by GreenTech Automotive, this 2,100 acre parcel could have a fair market value as high as $40 million.