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LONGMONT, Colo. -
The Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck has launched a criminal investigation into officials at Abound Solar, a solar panel manufacturing operation formerly based in Weld County.
The investigation centers on allegations that officials at Abound Solar knew products the company was selling were defective, Buck said. The investigation focuses on potential securities fraud and consumer fraud.
Company officials are accused of asking people to invest money into the company without telling them about the defective products.
Investigators are also looking into whether Abound Solar used a bridge loan to keep the company afloat until it received federally guaranteed loans. The District Attorney's Office wants to know whether lending institutions were misled when Abound Solar applied for the bridge loan.
The U.S. Department of Energy approved nearly $370 million in federal stimulus money for Abound Solar. The company received $68 million before payments were stopped in 2011.
Abound Solar made solar panels, which it sold across in the United States, Europe and India.
The company suspended its operations in June, declared bankruptcy in July and has ceased operation.