Executives from the solar power company Solyndra were on Capitol Hill today to testify in front of a House Energy Committee. CEO Brian Higgins and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover invoked their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and did not answer any questions asked by the members of the committee.
Solyndra got more than $535 million in loan guarantees from the federal government, and President Obama visited the company's factory in Fremont, California, to express support for their efforts to create "green" jobs. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy and laid off over 1,000 workers at the end of August. The FBI later raided their headquarters.
A criminal investigation is currently underway into whether Solyndra misled the government about its financial situation in order to receive a refinancing loan earlier this year.
The company issued a statement that it is “not aware of any wrongdoing by Solyndra officers, directors or employees” related to the loan guarantees and “is cooperating fully” with the U.S. Attorney investigating the bankruptcy.
According to Solyndra's website, the company filed for Chapter 11 protection because they "could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers."