According to reports on Friday, the Air Force has been looking into roughly $1 billion in mystery property acquisitions near a critical Air Force installation in California. They’ve been aware for eight months but have been unable to find the investors behind the deal.
The Air Force’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Office is looking into the mystery firm Flannery Associates, which has purchased over 52,000 acres of farmland in California, including lands near Travis Air Force Base. Local authorities, parliamentarians, and federal agencies continue to investigate the mysterious Flannery despite the company’s claims that it is 67% American-owned, with the remaining 3% of invested cash coming from Ireland and Britain.
A counsel for the company stated that speculating that Flannery purchases are because of the proximity to Travis Air Force Base” is way off base.
According to the outlet’s sources (county authorities and public data), Flannery has amassed the greatest landholdings in Solano County in the past five years.
Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), whose district includes the area where Flannery is buying land, said they don’t know who Flannery is, and their extensive purchases do not make sense to anybody in the area. The fact that they are purchasing land deliberately close to the Travis fence is suspicious.
Representatives Garamendi and Mike Thompson (also a Democrat from California) have urged CFIUS to investigate the land purchases. Advisors from many federal agencies participate in CFIUS and have the authority to examine and prevent foreign acquisitions that pose a danger to national security.
Most of Flannery’s claimed land is in agriculturally zoned unincorporated areas of Solano County, and some of the lots in question have wind turbines.
Administrator Bill Emlen of Solano County said that county authorities had also grown concerned but have been unable to identify any of Flannery’s owners.
County supervisor Mitch Mashburn stated he doesn’t see where that land can turn a profit to make it worth almost a billion dollars in investment, referencing Flannery’s lack of effort to engage with local authorities for development.