Elon Musk, one of President Obama’s big-time campaign donors is also the recipient of taxpayer funded stimulus for his “green” business ventures. (Shocking, isn’t it?) The IRS and a federal special investigator are investigating Musk’s SolarCity for potential improper stimulus funding by the Obama administration. The Washington Examiner has the story:
Musk, as he cashes in on his solar investment by taking his company SolarCity public this month, had to make an awkward admission in his financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Internal Revenue Service is auditing SolarCity, the SEC filings reveal, and at the same time the Treasury Department’s inspector general is investigating the company. The question at hand: Did President Obama’s Treasury Department inappropriately give stimulus money to Musk’s company.
Obama’s stimulus transformed a long-standing tax credit for renewable energy investment into a direct grant from Treasury, worth 30 percent of a company’s investment in a renewable project. Musk’s company has applied for approximately $325 million in these stimulus grants, according to the SEC filing.
Treasury found that SolarCity repeatedly overstated the value of its investments, the SEC filings indicate. In those cases, Treasury awarded smaller grants than SolarCity had tried to claim. Now the department’s IG and the IRS are doing a broader audit of the projects for which SolarCity and other large solar companies got stimulus cash. Investigators want to know if the companies regularly overstated the value of their investments and thus got overly generous taxpayer grants.
Read the whole thing, as there is much more. Musk has given $100,000 to Obama’s reelection campaign. He’s also an investor in Tesla Motors which is another company that received stimulus and other government funding.
Update: Doug Ross linked – thanks!