Carbon Motors files for bankruptcy in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - Carbon Motors has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a company spokesperson confirmed.

The company, which had hoped to open a high-tech police car plant employing as many as 1,500 workers in eastern Indiana, will be selling off its assets.

The company currently has more than $21 million in liabilities and only about $18,000 in assets, according to court documents.

Carbon Motors arrived in Connersville in 2009 amid great fanfare, pledging to build its high-tech police cars at the idled auto parts plant. The plant's closing had left the county with the state's highest unemployment rate, and Carbon Motors was seen as a way to help turn things around.

But the U.S. Department of Energy rejected Carbon's bid for a $310 million loan to finance the start of production in March 2012, throwing the company's prospects in Connersville into doubt.

At least 17 Hoosier investors and groups are owed more than $2 million in total.

Beyond the investor claims, three former company officials had sued Carbon Motors for back pay totaling more than $600. They didn't get paid.

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