South Carolina residents have likely seen several headlines recently regarding energy-based holding company SCANA and several lawsuits that have been filed against the company. Charges against SCANA include misleading regulators, overcharging customers and paying millions of dollars in bonuses to executives amidst a failed nuclear project.
One of the many parties filing lawsuits against SCANA is Columbia’s John Crangle, who has been an investor in SCANA for over four decades. Bert Louthian, along with Jim Griffin and Dick Harpootlian, is representing Crangle as he seeks to hold the executives accountable for failing to live up to the responsibilities owed to investors.
A Failed Project That Cost Billions
The failed nuclear project cost a whopping $9 billion, a wasteful endeavor that has driven the company to the brink of financial disaster. Meanwhile, top SCANA executives accepted $21 million in bonuses from 2007 to 2016. The project was abandoned by SCANA in late July after it was clear that the process would be even more expensive and time-consuming.
SCANA is based out of Cayce, South Carolina, and owns South Carolina Electric & Gas. Other pending litigation alleges that the company inflated prices to fund the construction of the two reactors located at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in Jenkinsville. One of those cases is seeking class action status.
Mismanagement by the Top Executives at SCANA
While all the lawsuits highlight the widespread impact of SCANA’s mishandling of the project, Crangle’s lawsuit specifically singles out the fiduciary shortcomings at the highest levels of the company. It’s clear from a year-and-a-half-old report by an outside consulting firm that the project was plagued by mismanagement. However, statements from the company and the bonuses themselves suggest that those in charge were willing to mislead shareholders about the problems looming over the project.
It’s not unusual for projects to fail, but the incredible amount of money poured into this project makes it unique. The fact that the price tag also included bonuses is particularly alarming for those who trusted the officers and directors to act in the best interests of investors.
Abuse and Waste are Far Too Common
Unfortunately, abuses of power are not uncommon in the United States. Billions of dollars are lost to fraud, abuse and waste, often at the expense of consumers or taxpayers. We rely heavily on watchdogs and whistleblowers to stand up and speak truth to power.
If you have witnessed fraud, abuse or waste, or if you believe you have important information that could help authorities uncover wrongdoing, you should remember that you have legal options. By using the False Claims Act, a whistleblower claim can end fraud and abuse, and lead to a substantial reward for the whistleblower.
To learn more about filing a whistleblower claim, contact whistleblower attorney Bert Louthian today by calling 877-959-1086 or filling out our online contact form. Bert Louthian has been practicing law in Columbia for over thirty years. Let him put his experience to work for you and your loved ones.