Not Just the SEC: Tesla Confirms It Has Been Contacted By Justice Department About New Criminal Probe
According to credible media reports, Tesla is under a new criminal investigation over alleged fraud. The issue centers around comments tweeted by Elon Musk about a plan to take Tesla private and having "funding secured." As we all now know, Tesla's funding was Saudi money from big oil profits and it was far from secured.
Bloomberg reports that a spokesperson from Tesla acknowledged that the company has been contacted by the United States Justice Department. The new criminal case is in addition to the already pending civil lawsuits filed by and on behalf of shareholders. Musk's announcements resulted in a temporary increase in the stock price of Tesla shares. The stock has since settled back to a level near its yearly low. At the time this story was published Tesla stock was priced by NASDAQ at $285 per share. One year ago it was priced at $385, a 26% decrease in value. Shortly after Musk made statements about taking the company private the stock rose 10% very rapidly before trading was halted. Musk went so far as to even announce the buy-out share price of $420.
Tesla has also been served an SEC subpoena according to Bloomberg who says, "The investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of California follows a subpoena issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking information from the electric-car maker about Musk’s plans to go private, which he has since abandoned."
Tesla released a statement regarding the reported criminal probe saying, "Last month, following Elon’s announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it."
In separate news, Elon Musk has been sued personally for $75,000 and a request for an injunction against further defamation by a man that Musk publically called a pedophile on multiple occasions. Musk's appearances this week have not focused on Tesla, but rather a bid to send a fellow billionaire and some other passengers on a trip to the moon.