Lawmakers go after Solyndra VCs
Lawmakers want Solyndra's venture capital backers to testify in hearings regarding the collapse of Fremont solar company, which spent a big federal loan before declaring bankruptcy Sept. 6.
Two Democratic lawmakers, Henry Wasman, D-Beverly Hills, and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., want to hear from Madrone and Argonaut Ventures, who backed Solyndra with tens of millions in private capital in addition to the government's $527 million.
Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison is scheduled to testify Friday before Congress on the failure of Solyndra along with CFO W.G. Stover. But Harrison's lawyers told the Mercury News he'll plead the Fifth.
(One aside: Harrison joined Solyndra only a little over a year ago — July 27, 2010, after the Department of Energy had given Solyndra a conditional loan guarantee for $535 million in September 2009. The Federal Finance Bank then loaned the money to Solyndra, after firms including Argonaut and Madrone put up equity to satisfy the terms of the agreement. Solyndra spent all but $8 million.)
Taking money from the government certainly doesn't come without strings attached as Madrone and Argonaut are learning the hard way.
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