Pasco Ready to Foreclose on Green Energy Company in Industrial Park
Over the last year, Newstalk 870 and other multiple media outlets have reported on the over 100 green energy companies that have gone bankrupt or out of business, many after having taken hundreds of millions of tax dollars – mostly via the Stimulus. Now you can add Tri-Cities to that list.
In what is likely the closing chapter on a financial and economic “disaster”, a hearing will be held this week to clear the way for complete foreclosure on a green energy company in the Big Pasco Industrial Park that never lived up to it’s promises.
Since 2007, the Park has been battling with Green Power, a controversial and fraud-laden bio-fuel company that had promised to convert waste and garbage into clean fuel for a variety of purposes. Created by Michael Spitzauer in 2000, Green Power Washington was going to build a huge plant in the Pasco Park that would create “hydrocarbon fuel” from various waste products.
The State Department of Ecology shut down the project over six years ago because Spitzauer had not received the necessary permits to build and operate the facility. In the meantime, the company has fallen behind on it’s promises. It owes over $6.1 million dollars to 12 creditors, including two in Tri-Cities, Jose Gonzalez of American Electric in Richland and James Osterloh of West Richland, owner of Concrete Structures and Green Power’s former chief engineer. The two have a joint venture called Panda Holdings, and are owed $5.4 million by Green Power.
Spitzauer has been in jail since last December, arrested and federally indicted on charges of wire and bank fraud, identity theft, money laundering and lying on federal tax returns.
An earlier foreclosure hearing was cancelled after Green Power filed for bankruptcy again, putting the final eviction process on hold. However, attorneys for Panda Holdings expect the Franklin County judge to approve the foreclosure request. That would allow the Port to sell off all remaining assets of Green Power in the Tri-Cities to satisfy creditors, finish off the eviction process – removing the company from the Tri-Cities for good.
As recently as December 2012, Spitzauer tried to calm fears that the company was in financial and legal trouble by posting a poorly-worded letter on the company’s website. The company website, as of February 2014, still shows pictures of the unfinished work in Pasco with a Google maps photograph, and makes no mention of Spitzauer’s legal issues.
The Port cannot lease out the warehouse used by Green Power until the eviction process is finished.