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FBI Agents Search Solyndra Headquarters In Fremont

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Solyndra Headquarters in Fremont (Solyndra Inc.)

Solyndra Headquarters in Fremont (Solyndra Inc.)

FREMONT (CBS SF) — The FBI was executing search warrants Thursday morning at Fremont’s Solyndra plant, which announced last week that it was laying off 1,100 workers and filing for bankruptcy.

FBI spokesman Peter Lee said Thursday morning the agency was conducting a joint investigation with the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General.

He said the FBI was not yet releasing details about the case.

President Obama toured the Solyndra plant last year after the federal government announced that it would grant the solar manufacturer a $535 million loan guarantee using stimulus dollars.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The President held Solyndra as the model for government investment in green technology.

Shortly after the visit, Solyndra announced it would halt further expansion plans and shutter one of its manufacturing plants amid hard times in the nation’s solar industry.  The price for solar panels has tanked, in part because of heavy competition from Chinese companies, dropping by about 42 percent this year.

Republicans have been looking into the Solyndra loan for months. The House Energy and Commerce Committee subpoenaed documents relating to the loan from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The company was also being sued by workers who were abruptly laid off after last week’s announcement.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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