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News Economy Tuesday, Jul 21 2015

Criminal Scrutiny Surrounding Loans By Scott Walker's WEDC

Jul 21, 2015

Controversy continues today for Scott Walker’s shady, tax payer-supported jobs program, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), with news of criminal scrutiny surrounding WEDC loans. Earlier this month it was revealed that WEDC failed to perform strong enough due diligence, loaning over $1.2 million to a company backed by an individual with a checkered financial history.

This just the latest scandal for Walker’s pet project, a dubious crown jewel in his still-developing train wreck of a legacy.


A troubled De Pere company is facing scrutiny from law enforcement after not disclosing its financial problems to the state to get $1.2 million in state incentives.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported two weeks ago on the problems with Green Box and the fact that the state’s jobs agency lent money to it without adequate financial checks and then continued to work with it on federal incentives even after it became clear that the company hadn’t been up front with the state. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. ended up suing Green Box in May to recover its soured loan and grant.

The Journal Sentinel review found that WEDC failed to run adequate checks and gave two awards worth more than $1.2 million to the clean energy company run by financially strapped chairman Ron Van Den Heuvel. Despite those omissions in 2011 and 2012, WEDC kept working with Van Den Heuvel into 2014, state records show.

There is no record so far of WEDC notifying the City of De Pere about the company’s money troubles even though Green Box was working with the city in an unsuccessful attempt to get federally tax-exempt bonds — in part to repay the state’s soured loan.

WEDC also sought federal tax incentives for Building Committee Inc. of Milwaukee, a failing business, for a year after being told that the owner was seeking the money to pay off business debts such as the leases on luxury cars. The company’s owner had provided false information to the state and received an unsecured and now soured $500,000 loan, which was first reported on by the Wisconsin State Journal.

Published: Jul 21, 2015

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