GreenTech Automotive files for bankruptcy

One of the electric cars Greentech was supposed to produce at its Mississippi plant. (file)

RICHMOND, Va. — A company that once promised hundreds of jobs for north Mississippi has filed for bankruptcy, citing negative press and lawsuits by investors who call it a “scam perpetrated by savvy and politically connected operatives” to exploit overseas investors.

The bankruptcy filing by electric car company GreenTech Automotive cites $7.5 million won by 12 investors and pending lawsuits. It says GreenTech Automotive raised almost $142 million from investors from 2009 to 2013 as part of a visa program that offered immigrant investors permanent residency, and says investors were warned the status wasn’t guaranteed.

It also says Watchdog.org articles prompted federal investigations and negative attention. GreenTech’s 2013 $85 million lawsuit against Watchdog.org was dismissed.

Mississippi officials are seeking legal action against GreenTech after the company failed to pay back $6.3 million in incentives granted by the state. GreenTech opened an auto manufacturing plant first in Horn Lake, then in Tunica County in 2014, but never hired the hundreds of workers the company promised.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe resigned from GreenTech in 2012, but featured the company prominently in his 2013 race.