Thursday, September 19, 2013

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Attorney General Abbott Files Action to Halt Deceptive Trade Practices of Dallas-Area Solar Panel Facility

DALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott obtained a temporary restraining order on Wednesday against Farmers Branch residents Sandra “Sandy” Fardi and Hossein “Zak” Fardi for falsely claiming its products were produced in the United States. The court’s order also set a temporary injunction hearing for October 1 at 2 p.m. According to the State’s enforcement action, the defendants advertised and sold solar panels as being “made in the USA” at the defendants’ Texas-based facility, 1 SolTech Inc. – despite the fact that the panels were actually manufactured by a Chinese company and imported from China.

According to state investigators, Sandy Fardi and Zak Fardi cofounded 1 SolTech in 2008 as a domestic manufacturer of solar panels for commercial and residential use. When less expensive Chinese-manufactured panels began to dominate the market, the defendants began to order and import solar panels that were manufactured in China at a Chinese facility. The defendants unlawfully labeled the panels with a “1 SolTech” sticker and then shipped the Chinese panels to buyers in the United States without disclosing the panels’ geographic origin.

Media links
Attorney General's lawsuit against 1 SolTech Inc.; Sandra "Sandy" Fardi; and Hossein "Zak" Fardi
Temporary restraining order issued against 1 SolTech Inc.; Sandra "Sandy" Fardi; and Hossein "Zak" Fardi

Further, state investigators found that the defendants represent that their solar panels meet the “Buy American” provisions of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and have submitted bid proposals to furnish solar panels for projects that have a “Buy American” component. The defendants fail to disclose to purchasing customers that the panels are actually manufactured in China. The State’s investigation found that the defendants purchased $2 million worth of Chinese solar panels in the first half of 2013 and received its first shipment of panels from a Chinese facility in the spring of 2013.

The Office of the Attorney General charged the defendants with violating multiple provisions of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The State is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction, civil penalties and restitution for affected 1 SolTech customers.