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Solyndra executives refuse to testify

Sept. 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Executives of the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra refused to answer questions Friday at a U.S. House subcommittee investigative hearing.

Lawmakers allege the California company, which received a $535 million loan from the Department of Energy, has ripped off taxpayers. There are also questions into whether the Obama administration pushed the loan through too quickly.

U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla., accused Solyndra Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison of lying to him in July when he said the Silicon Valley company was on track to double its sales, The Washington Post reported. The company filed for bankruptcy Aug. 31.

"In our meeting, you lied to me about the financial health of your company," Sullivan said. "I guess a lot can happen in five weeks."

Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to answer questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce committee.

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation of the company and the loan it received in 2009, the report said.

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