Chris White, DCNF
A scandal-plagued electric car company former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe founded blamed conservative media for the automaker’s recent decision to filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
GreenTech Automotive believes negative coverage of the company’s use of controversial Visa program “negatively affected governmental, investor and public perception of GreenTech.”
Federal officials began investigating the company shortly after reports unearthed the company’s use of the EB-5 visa program, which offered immigrant investors permanent residency.
The company unsuccessfully sued Watchdog.org, a conservative media outlet that published numerous articles reporting GreenTech’s use of the program, for $85 million before a judge dismissed the case in 2014.
Tony Rodham, the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and McAuliffe, who stepped down from the company in 2012, were accused of potentially illegally fast-tracking visa applications.
The company raised $141.5 million between 2009 and 2013 through the program, which effectively offered U.S. residency to Chinese citizens who invested $500,000 in GreenTech.
The company produced 25 vehicles as of January of 2017, according to a report last year from The Roanoke Times. GreenTech promised to produce at least 30,000 vehicles annually starting in 2014 – None of the cars the company produced were ever sold.
Watchdog.org was not the only entity McAullife’s company blamed for its misfortunes. GreenTech’s bankruptcy filings also suggests Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, shares some of the blame for raising national security concerns related to the scandal.
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