Fact Check: Ken Cuccinelli says Terry McAuliffe is under investigation for Green Tech role

October 17, 2013

“The truth? There’s only one candidate under investigation: Terry McAuliffe.”

—Ken Cuccinelli ad

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s ties to GreenTech Automotive, an electric car company he founded, have been front and center in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. His Republican opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, often brings up the company’s failure to bring promised jobs to Virginia and the cloud of federal investigations that hang over the enterprise.

In an ad titled ‘Facts,’ Cuccinelli says that McAuliffe is “under investigation,” while claiming that charges about his own ties to the Jonnie Williams scandal that has plagued the tenure of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) are without merit.

McAuliffe said in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post that he has no knowledge of any federal investigation into GreenTech. “I’ve not been contacted in any way by those conducting the investigation and have no knowledge of it. … From what has been reported, the investigation appears to be looking at a document allegedly prepared for potential investors — something I was not responsible for as chairman,” he wrote.

McAuliffe resigned as chairman from GreenTech in late 2012, as his campaign for governor officially launched.

Federal inquiries are ongoing into GreenTech on two fronts. The company courted foreign investors through a special program that allows foreigners to earn visas if they invest at least $500,000 to create U.S. jobs. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into alleged claims that the company sought to “guarantee returns” to the investors.

The second investigation involves whether a director at the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, improperly intervened on behalf of GreenTech.

The verdict: From what is publicly known, there are no federal inquiries directly into McAuliffe’s conduct. It would be a stretch to say otherwise.

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