The first shoe has dropped! As we reported in May of 2019, Southern Company was under federal investigation in Mississippi.
An excerpt from four years ago:
Atlanta-based Southern Company disclosed it is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over a power plant that already has caused the company years of heartburn and billions of dollars.
Southern said it learned of the probe by the DOJ’s Civil Division on Monday and that it involved the Kemper County plant owned by the utility’s Mississippi Power subsidiary.
The trifecta of alleged criminal misconduct by Southern Company done in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi is starting to come into the public light.
Southern Company allowed Alabama Power and then-Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite to do whatever they pleased because the most profitable subsidiary was helping pay for the billion-dollar cost overruns at two boondoggles: the Kemper Plant in Mississippi and the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Georgia.
Now the first of three major actions against Southern Company has begun.
The Associated Press reports:
A former employee is suing to force a Mississippi utility to repay $382 million that the federal government gave to build a failed coal-fueled power plant.
Kelli Williams, a former construction manager for Atlanta-based Southern Co., filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company and its subsidiary Mississippi Power Co. in 2018. That lawsuit, unsealed Monday, alleges that the two firms defrauded the U.S. Department of Energy and state regulators in a failed quest to build a $7.5 billion power plant.
Williams says the company lied repeatedly about the plant’s cost overruns and spiraling delays, enticing the U.S. Department of Energy to keep delivering subsidy payments and persuading the Mississippi Public Service Commission to not revoke its permission for construction.
“If DOE had known that defendants were intentionally deceiving the agency about the state of the Kemper project and were intentionally withholding accurate data about the project’s progress and viability, DOE would have ceased funding and supporting it,” an amended complaint filed Monday alleges.
If Williams wins, the company could be forced to pay triple damages, or more than $1.1 billion.
It has taken five years to unseal the whistleblower lawsuit against Southern Company, but we are not surprised.
The Southern Company Criminal Enterprise is being held accountable, and the investigations currently underway are deep, massive in nature, and slowly coming together.
In Georgia, expect possible criminal charges and litigation against Southern Company regarding the other boondoggle: the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant.
In Alabama, look for potential RICO litigation, SEC fines, and criminal charges surrounding the years of illegal surveillance, harassment, and alleged corruption of the judicial branch by the Southern Company Criminal Enterprise.
Federal investigators are allegedly looking at obstruction of justice and accusations of criminal concealment.
In April of 2022, Federal Judge Abdul K. Kallon resigned and fled to Seattle.
The next day, two Assistant U.S. Attorneys allegedly left the Northern District of Alabama, followed by the shocking suicide of William “Bo” Lineberry, a Balch & Bingham partner who hanged himself.
Seasoned law enforcement authorities told us in 2022 that the Lineberry suicide spoke volumes about the depth and seriousness of the alleged federal probe.