The electric car company founded by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe — who is prepping to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, blaming negative coverage by a conservative news website.
“GreenTech Automotive’s bankruptcy petition cites 76 articles by the website Watchdog.org it says ‘negatively affected governmental, investor and public perception of GreenTech’ and prompted investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Homeland Security,” Roanoke.com wrote.
GreenTech has battled Watchdog.org for years. McAuliffe’s company sued Watchdog, run by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, in 2013 for $85 million, but a judge tossed the case the following year. The company has also had lots of legal problems of its own, being hit by lawsuits filed by investors who called GreenTech a “scam perpetrated by savvy and politically connected operatives and businessmen” to exploit Chinese immigrants hoping to come to America.
The bankruptcy filing cites a $7.5 million judgment won by 12 investors and says other suits are pending.
According to its bankruptcy filing, GreenTech raised $141.5 million from investors between 2009 and 2013 as part of the EB-5 visa program, which offered immigrant investors permanent residency.
GreenTech’s filing says all the investors were advised that the investment constituted a risk and that there were no assurances that they would receive permanent residency in the U.S.
GreenTech also blames Sen. Chuck Grassley. The Iowa Republican “raised national security concerns related to GreenTech’s use of the visa program, as well as a 2015 lawsuit filed by an automotive parts company and litigation launched by Mississippi,” Roanoke.com wrote.
“As a result of these significant adverse developments, as well as internal factors such as personnel issues and manufacturing and other difficulties in pursuing GreenTech’s ambitious business plan, the Debtors are faced with severe economic hardship,” the bankruptcy filing says.
McAuliffe all but tossed his hat into the 2020 ring this week. “Who better to take on Trump than me?” McAuliffe said when asked by The Washington Free Beacon about a potential run for president.
“McAuliffe has been said to be ‘seriously considering’ a presidential run but recently dodged a question from CNN’s Jake Tapper on who would give Democrats the best chance to take back the White House, though he did indicate a belief that former governors with executive experience such as McAuliffe are better suited for a run,” the Beacon said.