Investment Skeletons Hiding Inside Mitt’s Closets
GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has hammered President Obama for his administration’s tax-funded investment blunders — but when Romney was governor, the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.
The two companies — Acusphere and Spherics Inc. — stiffed the state on nearly $2.1 million in loans provided through the state’s Emerging Technology Fund, a $25 million investment program created while Romney was governor in 2003 that benefitted 13 local firms.
Acusphere, a biotechnology firm headed by a Romney campaign donor, got $2 million in 2004 that it was supposed to put toward a $20 million manufacturing facility in Tewksbury, which never became fully operational. Calls to Acusphere’s headquarters in Lexington were not returned.
According to MassDevelopment, the quasi-public state agency that oversees the technology fund, Acusphere defaulted on the loan after a “nearly complete shutdown” in 2008. A confidential settlement was reached in which a portion of the loan was repaid, MassDevelopment spokeswoman Kelsey Abbruzzese said.