WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Department of Justice announced Sept. 22 that SolarCity Corporation will pay $29.5 million after allegations of violating the False Claims Act.

According to the Justice Department, SolarCity submitted inflated investment claims to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The department has a rule, Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (section 1603), that subsidized the energy industry.

“The section 1603 Program subsidized the renewable energy industry through cash grants to cover legitimate costs of renewable energy properties,” said acting assistant attorney general Chad A. Readler of the DOJ's Civil Division. “This program expired but this settlement demonstrates the government will still hold accountable those who sought to take improper advantage of government programs at the expense of American taxpayers.”

SolarCity purportedly overstated the cost benefits of its solar energy properties. As a result of the allegedly false claims, SolarCity received inflated grant payments from the Treasury Department.

“Treasury’s Office of Inspector General appreciates the hard work of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice in supporting treasury's OIG’s mission to protect the programs and operations of the treasury from fraud, waste and abuse,” said Inspector General Eric Thorson for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of the Treasury.

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