DOE questions Solyndra bankruptcy plan

Posted Aug. 28, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

DOVER, Del. — Solyndra LLC should provide more information about tax breaks that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to private equity funds that control the failed solar power company, government lawyers said in a court filing.

Attorneys for the Department of Energy and the Internal Revenue Service filed court papers last week objecting to a disclosure statement filed by Solyndra with its bankruptcy reorganization plan. Solyndra received a $528 million loan from the Obama administration before filing for bankruptcy protection last year.

The DOE and IRS contend that the investment firms, including one linked to an Obama fundraiser, could use Solyndra’s past net operating losses to avoid huge income tax liabilities in the future.

Government lawyers say Solyndra needs to provide more information on the tax breaks that could benefit the sponsors of Solyndra’s bankruptcy plan, Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP.

The lawyers say the net operating losses could be “significantly more” than $500 million, adding that the investment firms could use those losses to reduce future tax liabilities on income from sources totally unrelated to Solyndra.

“This could potentially enable Argonaut and Madrone to avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in future income tax liabilities,” they wrote. Solyndra bankruptcy attorney Bruce Grohsgal did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2011 and laid off its 1,100 employees, spurring investigations both by the FBI and Republicans in Congress.

 

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