Virginia ups diligence of incentives pitches after Lindenburg deal falls through

wlni-defaultROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Virginia is strengthening its reviews of companies seeking economic development incentives after a deal in the Lynchburg area unraveled amid scrutiny. An investigation by The Roanoke Times discovered lax vetting of a Chinese company’s rosy pitch that secured $1.4 million from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. The state is now seeking the return of the incentive to Lindenburg Industry LLC. Among the newspaper’s findings, state analysts relied on a company website produced in China that contained misleading information, such as a listing of a North Carolina address where the company never was located. Only after the project sputtered did Virginia officials ask for company financial statements. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones has ordered reforms to Virginia’s vetting procedures as a result of the gaps in the evaluation.

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