Surprise! Treasury IG probing multi-million-dollar fraud in green-energy grants, tax credits

posted at 12:41 pm on December 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

And the probe doesn’t involve some bit players in an obscure program, either.  The 1603 Program was one of the centerpieces of Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus, designed to subsidize a transition from hydrocarbon-based energy to renewables in the residential market, and federal government sunk $13 billion into the effort.  Now the Inspector General of Treasury has opened a probe of the three largest providers of solar panel installations, who gained the most from the 1603 Program, and who may have fraudulently calculated their bills in order to claim more taxpayer cash:

Three of the country’s most prolific installers of residential solar panels are under federal investigation to determine if they inflated the cost of their work to increase the payments they would receive from the government, according to government and industry officials familiar with the probe.

SolarCitySunRun and Sungevity have received subpoenas from the Treasury Department’s office of inspector general for financial records to justify more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits the firms tapped for performing work. The probe seeks to determine whether the companies accurately reported the market value of their costs when applying for federal reimbursement, which was calculated at one-third of the costs.

The solar companies received money through the Treasury’s $13 billion program, known as the 1603 program, which used funds from President Obama’s stimulus initiative to offer cash grants to clean-energy developers. The goal was to spur the spread of wind farms, solar panels and other clean power sources nationwide.

SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity have been by far the largest recipients among companies installing solar panels on homes. Working heavily in the sunny states of California and Arizona, the three firms collected hundreds of millions of dollars in federal cash grants to pick up a share of their costs on thousands of home installations during the past three years.

You know who’s missing from this story?  Sheriff Joe Biden.  Recall that when critics of the $800 billion porkfest predicted widespread fraud, Obama put Biden in charge of making sure that the money didn’t go to scams, which Biden admitted a few months later was an unachievable goal.  Obama himself warned that his wrath would be mighty indeed if local-government recipients of Porkulus cash got sticky fingers.

Perhaps they didn’t have enough room at the Ritz Carlton for Biden to invite scrutiny of the three largest players in the 1603 Program.  It’s tough to find parking there, after all.

And here’s another shocker:

SolarCity and SunRun have been generous political supporters of Obama. At SolarCity, for example, officials in the company and its two key venture capital firm backers, along with their relatives, donated an estimated $579,000 to Obama in 2008 and 2012, according to campaign reports.

Lucky for Obama that the announcement of the IG probe happened after the election, then.  What a coincidence!

 

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Where are all the trolls acknowledging Obama’s ownership of this debacle?

Galt2009 on December 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

OT

I’m in Amsterdam and The BBC is reporting a dozen dead in shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school. Is this true?

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

What can you expect from a “MODERATE REPUBLICAN” President?

Yahoo News strikes again.

President Barack Obama believes that if he were president 25 years ago, his economic policies would make him a moderate Republican.

During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network’s Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida’s Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

“I don’t know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that,” Obama said. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

Obama’s comments come amid the contentious debate over how to resolve the “fiscal cliff,” in which the White House and Congress are trying to figure out whether to extend a series of tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year while staving off steep spending cuts to domestic and defense programs set to go into place at the beginning of 2013.

For years amid the brooder debate over taxes and the size of government, Obama has been characterized by some on the right as a socialist who wants to redistribute wealth. They cite Obama’s healthcare law in particular as a massive increase in the size of government.

Obama is seeking to eradicate that image as he tries to sell his economic plan to the public amid the fiscal cliff debate, which includes eliminating the low Bush-era tax rates for those families making more than $250,000 per year.

“What I believe in is a tax system that is fair. I don’t think government can solve every problem. I think that we should make sure that we’re helping young people go to school. We should make sure that our government is building good roads and bridges and hospitals and airports so that we have a good infrastructure,” he said. “I do believe that it makes sense that everyone in America, as rich as this country is, shouldn’t go bankrupt because someone gets sick.”

TEATERMERICA……The we take care of our friends country.

PappyD61 on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

“And now you’re looking at me — by the way, that program (the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Stimulus Act of 2009), what the congress investigated said was that it was a model. Less than four tenths of one percent of waste and fraud in the program. All this talk about cronyism. They investigated and investigated and did not find one single piece of evidence. I wish he would just tell … be a little more candid.”

– Stimulus Sheriff Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 11 October 2012

Resist We Much on December 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

PappyD61 on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Thanks, but we’ve already beaten that one to death in the Headlines. :-)

UltimateBob on December 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Fate: Congratulations on your re-election. Now you can be properly impeached.

apostic on December 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

OT

I’m in Amsterdam and The BBC is reporting a dozen dead in shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school. Is this true?

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Five children dead so far per Fox just now but the numbers are sketchy.

Stay out of that Red Light District and have fun!

JPeterman on December 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Who thinks bho/joe/anyone on the team will have squat done to them about this?

If there could be a true amount of taxpayers/borrowed china money bho has given to foto’s, it probably would blow our minds?
L

letget on December 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I’m in Amsterdam and The BBC is reporting a dozen dead in shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school. Is this true?

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Don’t know the number. Heard one of the shooters was a parent. 1 shooter is dead and, at least, 1 student is.

I’m thinking “bitter custody dispute” and “if I can’t have Jimmy or Susie, I will make bloody sure that s/he doesn’t!”

Resist We Much on December 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

ABC reporting 12 dead so far. Shooter might be a parent.

wargamer6 on December 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Oh god…the Hartford Courant’s reporting that 1 ENTIRE classroom of kids is unaccounted for. Hopefully they just miscounted.

wargamer6 on December 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Fox,
They are waiting for a news conference any moment about this!
L

letget on December 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

@JedediahBila: RT @nypost: BREAKING UPDATE 14 kids among 27 killed after gunman opens fire in Conn. elementary school: report http://t.co/wPJ03pcP

idesign on December 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

ABC reporting 12 dead so far. Shooter might be a parent.

wargamer6 on December 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

BBC just reported 27 dead. I have friends who’s grandchildren go to that school…

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM

OT

I’m in Amsterdam and The BBC is reporting a dozen dead in shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school. Is this true?

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

CBS is claiming 27 dead–14 kids – gunman was a student’s father.

Don L on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I’m in Amsterdam and The BBC is reporting a dozen dead in shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school. Is this true?

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

A shooting appears to be true, FoxNews is reporting several dead, one the gunman. Several wounded.

Not sure how anything like this could happen. Here in the United States, public elementary schools are officially gun-free zones and anyone carrying a firearm into a public school except under specific exceptions (law enforcement officer, approved education effort) is committing a felony.

Also reported that President Obama was informed of the shooting.

Sorry for the cynicism, those of us here know what the left is going to do next.

AZfederalist on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

And so the guy bought out by rich industrialists twice is going to bring about a system where those rich industrialists will lose their property?
 
ernesto on December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

rogerb on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Surprise! Treasury IG probing multi-million-dollar fraud in green-energy grants, tax credits

Not to worry people, Erick Holder has done away with the need to obtain a pesky warrant to look at peoples private information, Erick Holders Department of Injustice will get to the bottom of this scandal in no time.

SWalker on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

You can go on Foxnews.com for a live player report from the news conference.
L

letget on December 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Sorry for the cynicism, those of us here know what the left is going to do next.

AZfederalist on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

No offense taken. I was thinking the same thing and it will start right where I live. Prayers for all..

CTSherman on December 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Hearts go out for those families.

eyesky on December 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

and federal government sunk $13 billion into the effort.

Grammar Nazi alert: “the federal government sank“, or: “the federal government has sunk”.

Socratease on December 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Nothing to see here… Move along… No doubt the IG will completely exonerate all who were involved.

RoadRunner on December 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

On Drudge now:

“Inspector General Fired based on claims he is senile”

The Rogue Tomato on December 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I could easily install my own solar power system, but the government won’t give me anything if I do. I can only get government bucks if I hire a government-approved contractor to do the work I could have done myself. Why? Because that way the feds and the state will be sure I’m not stealing from them?

It’s just like gun control: They assume individuals are all criminals, only government workers should have guns. I once compared arrest rates of Florida CCW holders with that of Washington DC cops, and the cops were by far the biggest crooks. This is the same thing all over again. Liberals think government is the solution, when it’s the problem more often than not.

Socratease on December 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Obama will not take ownership of this. Ditto for Sheriff Joe. Nothing to see here. Who cares?

Hillary will not testify. Neither Clinton or Obama are going to own Benghazi. The Gelded Old Party will not put up a fight. The Potomoc Pravda will not field real investigative journalists. The blind deaf and dumb majority electorate will not know or care.

Is anyone really surprised?

The new Amerika – where the only people responsible for their actions are responsible people.

ghostwalker1 on December 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I wonder if any of those three companies had Friends Of Obama as backers? I’m guessing none.

Ward Cleaver on December 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

…that means…we won’t find out anything for at least four more years!

KOOLAID2 on December 14, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Where are all the trolls acknowledging Obama’s ownership of this debacle?

Galt2009 on December 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Waiting in line at the grocery store to purchase groceries on their EBT card and using their Obama phone to check in with huffpo for instructions on how to spin. Of course, a smart Obama supporter would know what to do without being told. Blame Bush.

BruthaMan on December 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM

SolarCity and SunRun have been generous political supporters of Obama.

Hey! Ya gotta PAY if you’re gonna PLAY! Just ask George Kaiser. It’s the Chicago Way?

Most corrupt administration, evah!

GarandFan on December 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Excuse me, but haven’t we already had a number of critical IG reports that lead absolutely nowhere?

No Chop Charlie on December 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Not to worry. DOJ will be all over this. But don’t expect any worthy results. Reason is, that the moneys were ‘distributed’ and King Putt was re-elected (with said funds). So the paper trail (i.e. money trail) has evaporated. It’s the Chicago Way.

Missilengr on December 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM