LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Wednesday, both the Kentucky and the Tennessee State Attorneys General are due back in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to discuss the next moves involving Solar Titan USA.
Last week, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against Solar Titan after the attorneys general filed a complaint, accusing the company of deceptive business practices over the last several years.
For now, a court-ordered receiver is in charge of overseeing the company.
Kentucky Assistant Attorney General Paul Fata, who works in the Office of Consumer Protection, says there are more than 115 consumer complaints against Solar Titan.
“It’s a very significant number of complaints,” he said.
Over the course of almost a year, FOCUS has shared the stories of several customers who bought Solar Titan solar panels and those panels still don’t work properly or don’t work at all.
According to the federal complaint, Solar Titan enticed customers on promises of over-inflated savings in electric bills and misled them on the extent of a federal tax credit.
Installers were poorly trained, which led to improper installations causing damage to homes and risks of danger.
“It went from a company that was doing a bad job to a company that was doing no job essentially,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (R) said.
The complaint states that Solar Titan also ignored cancelation requests within the allowable three day window.
Also in the complaint, Solar Titan lender Solar Mosaic.
Mosaic is accused of continuing to bankroll installations even though it knew or should have known the ongoing issues with Solar Titan.
Solar Titan assets were frozen as part of the judge’s original order.
“We were particularly concerned that there was evidence that there could be dissipation of assets going on, misappropriations of customer funds,” Fata warned.
Company owners Richard Atnip, Craig Kelley, and Sarah Kirkland are accused of using funds for luxury items, including leasing or buying a private jet, purchasing multi-million dollar homes, and buying at least 8 Tesla’s over a two year period, 2020-2022.
Fata says the “backbone” of this investigation is consumer complaints leading to interviews with his office.
He credited FOCUS for its reporting.
“You ran a story, the story got consumers’ attention, and the consumers came to us,” Fata said. “We appreciate all the work you’ve done to document things and get the public’s attention because the consumer complaints drive the case.”
Fata encourages Solar Titan customers to continue to file complaints if they too have been having issues.
Attempts to reach representatives from Solar Titan and from Mosaic were unsuccessful.
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