Level Solar files for Chapter 11

“And just like that, they were gone. As of today, Level Solar’s website is offline, their phone has an out-of-hours message in the middle of the day, and former employees are stating that everyone has been let go.”

That was the lead on pv magazine Americas Editor Christian Roselund’s September story when Level Solar inexplicably and mysteriously disappeared from the solar industry – literally overnight.

At the time, no details were available to illuminate what happened. But on Monday, some details emerged from the wreckage left after the Manhattan-based installer disappeared as the industry filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Manhattan Division.

While the filing appears to be pretty standard, there is an intimation that the bankruptcy may have had something to do with its former CEO Richard Keiser, who had been let go by the company in June. The filing notes:

that the Corporation may retain a forensic accountant for the Corporation for purposes of, among other things, investigating potential financial and other misconduct of Mr. Richard Keiser and possibly others, subject to Bankruptcy Court approval[.]
Keiser, in response to being mentioned in the bankruptcy filing, issued the following statement:
I categorically deny any suggestion that I engaged in any misconduct, financial or otherwise.  During my tenure with Level Solar, the company received clean, independent, financial audits each year.  The statement in the bankruptcy filing is an obvious attempt by [current Level One Solar officials] Bill Frey, his wife, Carrie Frey, and his friend, Richard Pell, to distract creditors from the fact that they disrupted a lucrative business transaction for the company; wrongfully terminated me; replaced me with an individual with no experience in the solar energy sector; and caused the company to fail through their own mismanagement.

The company reported that it owed more than 200 creditors between $1 million and $10 million. The decision to file for bankruptcy was made at an emergency meeting of the company’s board of directors on Sunday.

Update: This article was updated at 2:28 pm EST on 12/5/17 to remove poorly chosen words to describe the circumstances surrounding Richard Keiser. The reporter apologizes for the error.

Update: This article was updated at 3:45 pm EST on 12/5/17 to add Richard Keiser’s response to the bankruptcy filing.