Waukesha County judge orders auction of shutdown solar company assets

For now, customers who are out of money have two months to file a proof of claim with the court to try and get financial relief from Sun Badger.
Sun Badger Solar Headquarters
Posted at 2:47 PM, Jun 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-23 18:23:45-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A Waukesha County judge has approved to auction all of Sun Badger Solar's assets. The I-Team first told you about Sun Badger in February after dozens of customers signed contracts and paid thousands for solar panels they never received.

In court Friday morning, Judge Brad Schimel authorized an auction of what's left of Sun Badger's assets. According to Schimel and the receiver on this case, attorney John Wirth, there isn't much left. The I-Team learned all of the company's assets were recently moved to its Waukesha office after Wirth said the company's Minnesota landlord evicted them at that location and got rid of inventory.

"This isn't a giant auction. It may be $50-$200,000 worth of stuff. It is not going to solve the problems of this case," Wirth said.

Wirth, who was appointed by the judge, said he had no prior relationship with Sun Badger or its employees.

"We're looking into what happened to the company and its business. There clearly were a lot of customers who paid deposits and didn't get what they were promised. There are unpaid employees," Wirth said.

Wirth said his team reached out to more than 300 customers and company trade partners to join the case as creditors in an effort to get money back. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) is representing the state's Department of Workforce Development on behalf of employees who said they were never paid.

"In this case, I'm skeptical that anybody's gonna get paid in full. And the question is how much do we recover," Wirth asked.

It is a question Wirth and the DOJ are still asking Sun Badger executives.

"This company's been out of business since January. This company's had months to understand its situation. Twenty-three days as of now to get a list to the receiver, it's quite frustrating to me that they haven't," Mike Murphy, attorney for the DOJ, said.

For now, customers who are out of money have two months to file a proof of claim with the court to try and get financial relief from Sun Badger.

No one from Sun Badger was in court Friday, not even legal representation. The receiver in this case said he only represents the company's assets.

Judge Schimel said if Sun Badger's executives can't get a full list of assets to the receiver soon, a motion to hold them in contempt will be filed. We're told this whole process could take anywhere from six months to two years.

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