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LG Chem to repay $1.2 million in stimulus funds: Idled Holland workers watched movies, played games

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – LG Chem Michigan, Inc. will pay the U.S. $1.231 million to resolve allegations that the company used federal funds to pay workers for recreational and volunteer activities.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles Jr. announced the settlement on Tuesday, Nov. 5

The money is in addition to $842,189 that LGCMI refunded to the U.S. Department of Energy early this year on the same allegations.

The government report said some LG Chem employees were paid to watch movies, play games or volunteer at non-profit organizations while production lines for battery cells stood still.

Related: Holland’s LG Chem plant built 2 years ago produces first lithium ion batteries

Related: $842,000 in stimulus money wasted on LG Chem employees paid to watch movies, play games, volunteer, federal investigation finds

As part of the recent settlement, the company did not admit liability, while the government stood by legitimacy of its claims.

LGCMI received more than $150 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to build and run a lithium-ion battery play in Holland. The government said the company submitted claims for money to pay employees who were not working.

“The United States further alleged that in response to governmental inquiries about those activities – and particularly in corporate executives’ written communications to DOE (Department of Energy) and statements made during a DOE audit – LGCMI failed to fully disclose the number of employees involved in those activities, the nature and scope of those activities and the resulting losses to government,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
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