HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - LG Chem Michigan has reached an agreement and will pay back $1.2 million dollars to the federal government.
LG Chem was given a stimulus grant to open the battery plant in Holland. Due to slow sales, the plant has yet to ship any batteries. The government says LG Chem therefore was not eligible to claim certain labor costs.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles, Jr. announced the settlement as well as a settlement under the federal False Claims Act, and that the company had sought and obtained federal funds to pay employees who were engaged in recreational and volunteer activities.
LG Chem says the company doesn't concede or admit liability and that labor costs charged to the DOE during that time were in an effort to keep a qualified workforce awaiting the production of lithium batteries.
Battery production finally began at the Holland plant in August. The company makes lithium batteries and is continuing to look for business opportunities in the U.S.
"Despite the continuing challenges presented by the current market conditions, the Company remains fully committed to the success of the lithium battery manufacturing plant in Holland," the company stated in a press release Tuesday.