SEC investigating practices of McAuliffe's former electric-car company

During a brief downward ride on a freight elevator last weekend following his appearance at the Arlington Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner, Virginia GOP Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was asked whether the electric-car company he founded had done anything wrong related to securing visas for foreign investors and workers.

His response was a firm “no.”

The Securities Exchange Commission isn’t so certain.

According to the Washington Post, the SEC is investigating GreenTech Automotive, from which McAuliffe resigned as chairman last year, and other companies that use a visa program “largely over concerns that investors may have been misled or defrauded by the companies seeking their money. The visa program has also raised national security concerns from some lawmakers, who are worried that suspect individuals are using it to gain entry into the country.”

McAuliffe’s campaign, running against Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli, says its man isn’t aware of the investigation, spurred in part by concerns by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) about the visa program.

McAuliffe originally had planned to open GreenTech in Virginia before deciding to switch to Mississippi, largely because of the financial incentives offered by that state and then-Gov. Haley Barbour.