(Memphis) News Channel 3 is digging for answers about a massive car manufacturing plant for GreenTech Automotive in Tunica County that’s driving a lot of controversy.
Wednesday, construction crews poured concrete for the plant which is expected to employ 350 people and roll out 30,000 electric cars every year, starting sometime next year.
While the company is gearing up to make a dent in the global green car market, it is under federal investigation for its business practices.
“The federal government has the right to investigate,” said GreenTech’s Chief Operating Officer Dennis Dougherty.
He says he welcomes the investigation examining if it got preferential treatment from top government officials and help raising money, “We think the investigation is the best thing that can happen to us. It will help clear up any of the suspicion that could be out there.”
More questions focus on what’s going on at GreenTech’s current plant in Horn Lake.
The city’s former mayor thinks the company is just as focused on manufacturing a way for foreign investors to get immigration visas, as it is producing prototype cars.
“Is your company also a segue for some people to get visas?” asked News Channel 3’s Elise Preston.
“If you investigate the EB5 program, that answers your question. It’s a federal program that a lot of companies use. So there is that avenue,” said Dougherty.
That avenue allows international investors to cough up at least a half million dollars and meet several other requirements to get a visa.
While the Feds and neighbors may have questions, Dougherty insists the company is doing everything by the book.
“We’ve been doing it right, we’ve been following the guidelines,” said Dougherty.