Bloomberg News

Solyndra Gets Grand Jury Subpoena in U.S. Criminal Probe

December 15, 2011

(Updates with court filing in second paragraph.)

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Solyndra LLC, the failed solar-panel maker that got $535 million in government loan guarantees before filing for bankruptcy, received a grand jury subpoena as part of a Justice Department investigation, according to court records.

The subpoena was disclosed in billing records submitted in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, by K&L Gates LLP, Solyndra’s special counsel. The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. attorney and the Department of Justice, according to the law firm.

K&L Gates is working to facilitate communication “between the debtors, the U.S. attorney and the Federal Bureau of Investigation” over the probe and respond “to subpoenas and other law enforcement requests,” lawyers said in a Dec. 9 filing.

Solyndra, based in Fremont, California, sought Chapter 11 protection Sept. 6. Two days later its offices were raided by the FBI. Congressional Republicans questioned the size of government loans made to the fledgling company and whether the Obama administration properly evaluated its potential.

Earlier this month, lawmakers said the Obama administration wasn’t complying with a demand for documents about the federal loan guarantee.

The law firm’s invoices indicate lawyers from K&L Gates firm met with a federal prosecutor in October about the probe.

“Solyndra is continuing to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco in connection with its investigation,” K&L Gates lawyer Jeffrey Bornstein said in an e-mailed statement.

Jack Gillund, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney, declined to comment on the subpoena.

The case is In re Solyndra LLC, 11-12799, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

--Editors: John Pickering, David E. Rovella

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Bathon in Wilmington, Delaware, at mbathon@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net.


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