IRS says ‘tax avoidance’ at heart of Solyndra bankruptcy plan

In a deposition taken after Solyndra’s bankruptcy, Mr. Mitchell was asked whether the survival of Solyndra’s net operating losses was “an intended outcome,” according to a transcript included in the court filings.

“You know, if I have stock for 363 days, and if I decide to sell it three days later so I can take advantage of that situation, it’s not the reason I sold the stock, but it’s an outcome, right?” Mr. Mitchell replied.

“Why wouldn’t I get capital gains in a situation where money was lost,” he said. “It’s an asset there. We’re paying these dollars to deal with other situations, which is to deal with the liabilities. But the asset is there, why not preserve it?”

In a separate deposition, Jamie McJunkin, a managing director with Madrone, answered “no” when asked whether one of the key components of the Solyndra restructuring was to preserve the company’s net operating losses. At the same time, he said he didn’t see a reason why the operating losses would be destroyed.

“They do have potential value at some point in the future,” Mr. McJunkin said. “Size unknown.”

Once a poster child of the Obama administration’s stimulus program and Mr. Obama’s efforts to encourage clean energy, Solyndra turned into a big political headache after its bankruptcy. Republicans have seized on Mr. Kaiser’s political ties to Mr. Obama, but administration officials have said politics played no role in the loan deal and that investment decisions were made on the merits.

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