A section dedicated to GreenTech’s public relations efforts cites only one specific initiative: McAuliffe’s past promotion of electric vehicles on “national television news programs.”
Dated March 12, the previously undisclosed prospectus, provided to The Washington Post by the nonprofit watchdog group Cause of Action, notes that McAuliffe is “currently the largest individual shareholder” of GreenTech.
The prospectus, along with other documents reviewed by The Post, shows how GreenTech fits into a pattern of investments in which McAuliffe has used government programs, political connections and access to wealthy investors of both parties in pursuit of big profits for himself.
That formula has made McAuliffe a millionaire many times over, paving the way for a long list of business ventures, including his law firm, from which he resigned in the 1990s after profiting — along with his partners — from fees paid by domestic and foreign clients seeking results from the federal government.
A review of McAuliffe’s business history shows him often coming out ahead personally, even if some investments fail or become embroiled in controversy.
One high-profile example involved Global Crossing, a telecommunications firm whose demise in the 1990s cost investors billions of dollars. McAuliffe was working as a consultant to Global Crossing founder Gary Winnick, a prolific political donor, and became an investor in the company. McAuliffe sold some of his Global Crossing shares before the stock price plummeted and made an estimated $8 million before the company went sour.
Few of McAuliffe’s investments have been as ambitious as GreenTech, which the Democrat pointed to when he launched his candidacy as evidence of his entrepreneurial skill.
But in April, McAuliffe sought to distance himself from GreenTech. He issued a surprise statement saying that he had resigned as chairman that previous December — an announcement that came amid growing questions about GreenTech’s ambitious promises and its conduct in soliciting investors through a special visa program.
Nevertheless, the company’s confidential March memo implies to investors that he would remain involved. Were McAuliffe to win his race for governor, the memo says, he would “resign all positions with [GreenTech] and appoint a representative to vote his shares.”