• 9 Investigates tax breaks given to company that hasn't paid workers


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Financial issues at Oakridge Global Energy Solutions have left workers without pay for weeks, but that hasn’t stopped the company from receiving tax breaks from the state.

    Oakridge CEO Steve Barber said the pay problems were due to restructuring and its status as a start-up business.

    The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said the tax breaks are pay-for-performance, meaning they aren’t paid until all the requirements are met.

    Gov. Rick Scott spoke to the Florida House Finance and Tax Committee Wednesday about the type of tax breaks Oakridge has received. He didn’t mention the company specifically, but said the program works because it is incentive-based.

    “Here’s what’s great about Enterprise Florida: There’s no guessing game,” he said. “We don’t hand the money out until they create the jobs.”

    Many workers at Oak Ridge have stopped coming to work over the pay issues.

    One former employee, who only identified himself as Jeremy, said “what they’ve done to a lot of families is horrible.”

    Barber has said that while the company has been around for a few years, it is still a start-up. He promised the workers would be paid soon.

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