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McAuliffe bragged about GreenTech’s cash position while begging feds for faster processing of ‘cash for visas’

By   /   July 23, 2013  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 33 of 76 in the series Terry McAuliffe - Carmogul

By Tori Richards | Watchdog.org

Terry McAuliffe

CHEESE: McAuliffe pressed Mayorkas to speed foreign investors’ cash to his company.

At a time when attorneys representing GreenTech Automotive said the green car firm was in financial trouble, company chairman Terry McAuliffe was running for governor – and telling a reporter his business was flush with cash.

“We are in great shape financially. I’m a big believer in get your money up front,” he said during a September 2011 interview with Politics Matters, a Virginia PBS news program. “It’s not hard if you have a new idea… I could’ve raised a lot more money if I needed it.


News today that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas is the target of a DHS Inspector General’s Office probe came after Watchdog revelations that company executives repeatedly pressed Mayorkas for speedy approvals of Chinese investments under a federal “cash-for-visas” program, called EB-5. In one instance, McAuliffe appealed directly to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for special treatment to secure GreenTech’s funding.

But publicly McAuliffe told a different story.

“Now we are in good shape and you have probably read the reports. We’ve sold our first year of production of these electric vehicles to country of Denmark. Signed contract. Now we’re making them and we’ve sold them. It’s a great American success story and I’m just so proud of my workers working day in and day out to make this vision come true,” McAuliffe said.

GreenTech was incorporated in Virginia in 2010 and initially proposed 2,000 new jobs to help manufacture 3,000 cars by the end of 2011. Virginia government officials nixed the idea of a plant there, saying its funding through a controversial federal program didn’t appear secure and seemed like a “visa-for-sale scheme.” McAuliffe ultimately located the plant in Mississippi and has yet to construct the building that will be its permanent home.

In a series of emails obtained by Watchdog, GreenTech officials pleaded with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for speedy action on the company’s

Terry McAuliffe, in one of his Green Tech Automotive electric vehicles

Terry McAuliffe, in one of his Green Tech Automotive electric vehicles

applications to the federal EB-5 visa program.

“The investors are upset and threatening to withdraw their investments,” GreenTech attorney Dawn Lurie wrote to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas on June 28, 2011. “Reputation is critical in this industry and our branding is being hurt.”

A week later Lurie followed with another email warning of unhappy investors threatening a lawsuit.

The email apparently had little effect: a year and a half later a second attorney had the same message for Mayorkas. This time her words were more direct.

“This delay is having a detrimental impact on the ongoing operations of GreenTech Automotive and GTA’s ability to create and maintain American jobs,” Simone Williams wrote on Jan. 23, 2013.

And in between the lengthy time span of these emails, McAliffe was proclaiming that all was well.

“Those first cars will roll out of there in Oct. 30 of this year and we just broke ground on a huge permanent facility in Mississippi,” he said in the 2011 telecast.

But now, in 2013, no building permits have been pulled on that new site and only a few prototypes of the car have been produced. No evidence could be found of cars rolling off an assembly line from a temporary GreenTech manufacturing plant, heading for Denmark or anywhere else.

“This delay is threatening the ongoing operations of GTA because GTA relies on EB-5 investors as a key source of funding,” Williams stressed in her email. “EB-5 funding to GTA is now at a virtual standstill…without such funds GTA’s car manufacturing operations and creation of U.S. jobs is in serious jeopardy.”

Contact Tori Richards at [email protected] or on twitter @newswriter2


Part of 76 in the series Terry McAuliffe - Carmogul
  1. VA: As he runs for governor, McAuliffe wheels and deals electric cars in Mississippi
  2. VA: Media echo Watchdog exclusive on McAuliffe’s electric car maneuvers
  3. No news here: PolitFact brands Terry McAuliffe’s electric-car claim ‘false’
  4. Experts question source of McAuliffe car-company funding
  5. Terry McAuliffe on business ventures: ‘Some work, some don’t’
  6. How McAuliffe’s car company failed the Virginia test, landed in Mississippi
  7. Virginia official wants probe of McAuliffe company ‘visa-for-sale’ program
  8. McAuliffe car company sues Watchdog in libel claim
  9. Barack Obama’s GreenTech connection: Rick Wade
  10. Silence, secrecy, cops follow GreenTech’s China deal
  11. McAuliffe hones China’s crony-capitalism model in U.S.
  12. Promises keep Tunica County afloat
  13. McAuliffe company’s China hook-up: Will it work?
  14. McAuliffe car lags in Domino’s delivery
  15. McAuliffe car co. parent in off-shore tax shelter
  16. Lawmaker gives feds one more week for EB-5 answers
  17. Bolling: McAuliffe’s Mississippi package ‘attractive’
  18. Inside, execs knew McAuliffe plan had ‘substantial risk’
  19. Union darling McAuliffe and his non-union car company
  20. Did Clinton aid the birth of ‘McAuliffe’ car company?
  21. McAuliffe feels heat over GreenTech resignation
  22. TV report: One year later, ‘party is over’ at GreenTech
  23. Months after he said he left company, McAuliffe kept talking GreenTech
  24. Clinton connection: More money for McAuliffe
  25. Terry McAuliffe used loophole to avoid key SEC oversight of his car company
  26. VA officials: McAuliffe green car more politics than biz
  27. McAuliffe car company announces it’s ready to roll — again
  28. Before Watchdog, McAuliffe blamed federal officials for money trouble
  29. McAuliffe gets cash from GreenTech exec, board members
  30. Watchdog report on McAuliffe spurs FOI request to Homeland Security
  31. McAuliffe leaves GreenTech questions hanging at debate
  32. Totally wired: McAuliffe went to Napolitano to expedite company funding
  33. McAuliffe bragged about GreenTech’s cash position while begging feds for faster processing of ‘cash for visas’
  34. Investigation targets Homeland official’s relationship to McAuliffe company
  35. Even before news of federal probe, McAuliffe ducked GreenTech questions
  36. McAuliffe company pressed Homeland official on 81 investor visas
  37. Rodham company sought visa for controversial Chinese exec
  38. Immigration official says he met with McAuliffe to discuss visas for foreign investors
  39. Whiners: Mayorkas says Gulf Coast ‘continues to complain’
  40. VIDEO: Ex-GreenTech employee says little happened at Horn Lake plant
  41. Online ad to Terry McAuliffe: Drop your lawsuit
  42. National security on ‘hold’: Lawmakers press McAuliffe for answers
  43. Citizens United documentary film delves into McAuliffe, GreenTech
  44. VIDEO: Terry McAuliffe’s 15 million-square-foot car plant … in China
  45. Feds call McAuliffe car company’s use of investment program ‘possible fraud’
  46. GreenTech courted Obama’s Solyndra aide
  47. GOP legislators call for McAuliffe to answer GreenTech questions
  48. McAuliffe ‘desperate’ over documentary, Citizens United says
  49. GreenTech weighed Fisker-style federal loan
  50. Group tells Terry: Follow ‘McAuliffe Standard’ on disclosure
  51. Car and Driver races into GreenTech controversy
  52. Congressman: McAuliffe owes Virginians explanation about White House meeting
  53. Feds loosen oversight as McAuliffe car company makes mysterious management change
  54. GreenTech execs use Times and ABC to throw McAuliffe under the (non-electric) bus
  55. Aide in union contribution swap hosts California fund-raiser for McAuliffe
  56. Despite denials, docs show McAuliffe company asked feds to fast-track visa for investor tied to spy list
  57. Former Democrat Party director was on GreenTech payroll
  58. More bad news for McAuliffe car company as GreenTech China venture stalls
  59. Clinton Foundation posts deficits on McAuliffe’s watch
  60. VIDEO: GreenTech record dogs McAuliffe at energy forum
  61. Auto industry expert labels McAuliffe electric car ‘preposterous’
  62. Democratic leaders have their own Bain pain in Mideast private equity deal
  63. Hillary PAC adviser served as GreenTech spokeswoman
  64. New emails add evidence McAuliffe pressed U.S. officials to approve GreenTech funding
  65. After endorsement, Post shrinks facts to cover Terry McAuliffe
  66. Ties that bind: Following the McAuliffe-Clinton money trail
  67. McAuliffe tilts at windmills; Chinese venture goes bust
  68. Federal investigations cast shadow over McAuliffe on Election Day
  69. DHS inspector over GreenTech-McAuliffe case is under investigation
  70. McAuliffe names former GreenTech employee secretary of commonwealth
  71. McAuliffe lawyers, accountants sort GreenTech stock amid federal investigations
  72. Nuking filibusters, Dems clear way for Mayorkas at Homeland Security
  73. U.S. judge hands Watchdog a victory over VA governor’s green-car company
  74. Attorney: McAuliffe is ‘100 percent divested’ of GreenTech
  75. Investigation finds Mayorkas used visa program to help White House allies
  76. Criminal investigation sought in McAuliffe-Mayorkas dealings


Tori formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.