The Strategist

Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway gets in a solar energy Ponzi scheme

05/09/2019 - 05:40

The financial corporation had to write off assets in the amount of $ 377 million after bankruptcy of DC Solar, which the FBI called the Ponzi scheme.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett remains one of the richest people in the world, ranking 4th, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, with a fortune of $ 88.7 billion.

However, lately he admitted that he has made some wrong decisions. In May 2018, he stated that he was “mistaken” about prospects for Amazon and Google and did not invest in them at an earlier stage. In May 2019, he again admitted that he had missed an opportunity to invest in Amazon at an earlier stage, while calling himself "an idiot" because of this.

In February 2019, after the collapse of Kraft Heinz quotes amid losses and write-offs of assets, Warren Buffett announced that he had “overpaid” for Kraft Heinz when in 2013 Berkshire Hathaway together with the investment company 3G Capital had invested in a Kraft Foods-Heinz merger. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an investigation with respect to Kraft Heinz. It is related to incorrect accounting statements of the company. The statements were not approved by Pricewaterhouse Coopers audit company, and were not reflected in Berkshire Hathaway financial statements for the first quarter of 2019.

Investment in DC Solar Solution company was yet another mistake of Berkshire Hathaway. In the financial statements for the first three months of the year, Berkshire Hathaway reported write-offs worth $ 337 million.

In the period 2015-2018, these funds were invested in funds owned by the company DC Solar Solutions, engaged in the production of solar panels.

In February 2019, this company declared bankruptcy and is now under investigation by the FBI and the US Tax Administration. The company is suspected of creating a fraudulent scheme in the amount of $ 810 million

In a commentary to Bloomberg, Berkshire Hathaway spokeswoman Debbie Bosanek confirmed that $ 377 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway's assets were invested in DC Solar.

For Berkshire Hathaway, writing off assets in such a volume is not a significant financial loss, and yet the number of such blunders has recently begun to grow.