By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
ALEXANDRIA – “Job creator” Terry McAuliffe’s dealings with Chinese business interests went beyond GreenTech Automotive – and like his sputtering electric car company, they didn’t get far.
On Aug. 2, 2010, McAuliffe, then chairman of both the auto company and a shadowy sister entity called WM GreenTech Energy Holdings, signed a joint agreement with A-Power Energy Generation Systems, a China-based firm, to develop renewable power projects.
At the time, McAuliffe, a chief Democratic Party fundraiser, vowed to invest up to $1 billion in wind energy with A-Power.
“He says he’s ‘jacked up’ on fuel cells and is scoping out new technologies worldwide,” Bloomberg News reported
The joint venture was to pursue “new energy projects covering wind, solar and biomass power generation in the global market.”
Also involved were other Democratic Party fundraisers and lobbyists who pushed for $450 million in federal stimulus money for an A-Power wind farm in Texas.
McAuliffe, a veteran D.C. insider running for Virginia governor as a “job creator,” did not deliver for A-Power.
Less than two years after McAuliffe and A-Power Chairman Jinxiang Lu signed their “cooperative development agreement,” A-Power investors sued the company, alleging securities fraud and demanding their money back.
The Texas wind farm was never built. The federal funds were not forthcoming. McAuliffe was out of the picture. And GreenTech Energy is classified as “delinquent” by the Virginia Corporation Commission.
A-Power paid a $3.6 million settlement to investors, and the company’s stock was valued at 6-cents a share on April 23. The Securities and Exchange Commission has since banned A-Power from the U.S. securities market.
Another Chinese partner
In attendance with Lu and McAuliffe at the 2010 signing ceremony were Lu Songhui, executive vice president of Shengyang Power Group, and Shao Jinglan, a top executive at Shengyang ZhongRui Investment Co.
Shengyang ZhongRui is a partner with GreenTech Automotive in building a car plant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. McAuliffe touted the project last year, before construction was halted when Chinese officials cut off government funding.
Neither Shengyang nor McAuliffe were cited in the A-Power investors’ lawsuit, which charged that the company “grossly misstated its revenue, income, total assets and total liabilities.”
McAuliffe has not commented on the nature of GreenTech Energy’s agreement with A-Power, or whether he made good on his $1-billion pledge to the A-Power venture.
A Sept. 8, 2010, press release on “Terry’s Newsroom” site described GreenTech Energy, a sister company of GreenTech Automotive, as “the energy development arm of GreenTech Industries.”
The release, which said “GTE’s primarily energy generation (sic) focuses on wind, solar and bio-mass power,” stated:
“Based on the mutuality that both A-Power and GTE are seeking for one or more worldwide investment opportunities in the field of renewable energy power generation, the two parties has (sic) reached a cooperative development agreement on establishing a joint venture to undertake new energy projects covering wind, solar and biomass power generation in the global markets.”
Virginia records show that McAuliffe’s GTE Holdings, which shares office space with GreenTech Automotive in McLean, Va., has not paid its 2013 state fees to the Virginia Corporation Commission.
VCC spokesman Ken Schrad confirmed that GTE Holdings — incorporated in August 2010, the same month it signed the A-Power agreement — is delinquent on its annual $220 fee that was due on Aug. 31. He said the company must pay the fee, plus late-payment penalties, by the end of the year to avoid an “automatic revocation” of incorporation.
A third related entity listed at the McLean address, Gulf Coast Funds Management, is under investigation by the SEC. The funding arm of GreenTech Automotive, Gulf Coast raises money from Chinese nationals through the federal EB-5 visa-investor program.
Gulf Coast, headed by Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, has collected millions of dollars. GreenTech, however, has fallen short of its job-creation and car-production projections. More than a year after former President Bill Clinton joined McAuliffe for GTA’s unveiling in Mississippi, the company has yet to build its promised assembly plant there.
Ken Cuccinelli, McAuliffe’s GOP opponent, recently said GreenTech has “sold more visas to foreign investors than it has built cars.”
McAuliffe boasted that he brought the auto company from China to America in 2009 to create U.S. jobs. The firm says it has about 80 employees. No production figures have been confirmed.
GTA President Charles Wang, who also serves in that capacity at GTE Holdings, announced last April that McAuliffe stepped down as GTA chairman in December to wage a second campaign for governor.
McAuliffe holds the title “chairman emeritus” at GTA and is listed as chairman of GTE Holdings in that entity’s annual filing with the state of Virginia.
McAuliffe’s campaign did not respond to Watchdog’s questions about GreenTech Energy and A-Power.
GreenTech Automotive sued Watchdog in April for $85 million, alleging that its reporting defamed the company and damaged investor relations.
Kenric Ward is chief of Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward
Earl Glynn contributed research to this article.
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