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KR Sridhar, co-founder and CEO Bloom Energy. Photo by Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images.

Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy recently filed to go public, but the beneficiaries may include two men who defrauded Bloom investors nearly a decade ago, according to a note in its IPO filing.

Bottom line: The Silicon Valley-based company won't explain why it will issue new shares to the co-founder of a now-defunct "placement agent" that was fined by the federal regulators over its Bloom-related activities.

History

Bloom once was among the most prolific users of Advanced Equities, a Chicago-based firm that helped private companies raise big money from small investors. But AE was long known to be a boiler room-type operation, and it eventually disappeared after it and its two co-founders were nailed by the SEC for lying to investors while raising money for Bloom.

AE's pooled investments in Bloom were ultimately transferred to another manager (Connecticut-based Spruce Investment Advisors), and currently represent a 6.55% ownership stake.

There also were additional complications for the individual investors, as neither AE nor Bloom were terribly responsive at the time.

Present Day

All of which leads us to a bizarre note in Bloom's S-1 about how it will issue 200,000 shares of Class B common stock to Dwight Badger and Keith Daubenspeck, the very AEI co-founders who defrauded Bloom investors.

Bloom refers to it as a "dispute settlement," although we've been unable to find any relevant legal complaints. Moreover, the settlement came in June 2014, which is years after AE went bust.

A source very close to the company says he has no idea why Bloom would further compensate the pair, and Bloom is declining comment via an outside spokeswoman.

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Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.