Here’s Why DOJ Didn’t Prosecute Solyndra

President Obama visits Solyndra / AP
August 27, 2015

The Justice Department did not feel that it had sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone at Solyndra over alleged misrepresentations of the company’s financial health, the department said on Thursday.

"The Department of Justice reviewed the evidence and elected to not pursue charges based on the Federal Principles of Prosecution, which include whether the person’s conduct constitutes a Federal offense and whether the admissible evidence will be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction," DOJ spokesman Peter Carr said in an emailed statement.

The comments came a day after the Department of Energy’s inspector general released the results of a years-long investigation into the solar firm’s 2011 bankruptcy and the $500 million that taxpayers lost in guaranteeing a loan to the company.

Solyndra executives misled DOE officials about the company’s financial health and projected revenue, the report found. It also faulted DOE staff for failing to catch those inaccuracies before awarding the company a $535 million loan guarantee.

DOJ declined to prosecute anyone for those misrepresentations. "In early 2015, we were informed that the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal prosecution of Solyndra officials," DOE’s report noted.

The report also suggested that DOE officials were pressured to expedite its loan guarantee application due to political pressure from Congress and the administration.