|Where there's a Con Man, there's always a Con|
For more than one year now, the Action News 5 Investigators have been asking questions about a new Mid-South car company called GreenTech Automotive and its promise of hundreds of new jobs in North Mississippi.
Now, a man who got one of those jobs says he was instructed to do more than put together cars. He says he was told to put on a show.
Taxpayers loaned the Greentech Automotive millions of dollars to land the manufacturer in North Mississippi, where the former chairman, now Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, promised the creation of hundreds of jobs and thousands of cars.
“If I can be successful and make 10,000 cars over the next 12 months here in Horn Lake and ship them over to Denmark, that’s a huge win for me, the company, and most importantly, Mississippi,” said McAuliffe in July 2012.
Twelve months later, the Action News 5 Investigators have uncovered no evidence of any major car production and a former Greentech employee raises new questions about the company’s operation.
“We were told, you know, when we first went in the fall of ’11, we were going to build a 100 by Christmas, didn’t happen,” said the former employee, who asked to remain anonymous. “Then we were told we were going to build X amount through the year 2012 and that didn’t happen.”The employee said he and other workers built cars, then deconstructed and rebuilt them to make it appear as though they were working. He also said there were photo shoots where workers were put on the assembly line holding tools, feigning production.
Upon the arrival at the plant of foreign investors, who can gain U.S. citizenship for large investments in U.S. companies through the EB 5 program, they pretended to work on cars to fool them into thinking they were actively producing and selling the vehicles.
Plant manager Trent Agner and GTA vice president Marianne McInerney denied those claims, and they told Channel 5 the cars were deconstructed for “training and quality control,” but McInerney refused to release the number of vehicles actually made or sold last year.