AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation's second most-populous state.
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But a closer look at the Texas Emerging Technology Fund reveals that some of the businesses that received money are not what they seem.
An Associated Press review of the program found that one of the companies actually operates in California. Some have stagnated trying to find more capital. A few have even forfeited their right to do business in Texas by not filing tax reports.
A Perry spokeswoman insists that the governor's office conducts regular compliance checks of the fund. She says fluctuating business activity and employment numbers are the nature of startups.