Thursday, August 31, 2023

"DOJ, SEC Investigate Tesla Over Secret Glass House Project"

Following on August 26's "Biden administration SUES Elon Musk's SpaceX for 'only hiring US citizens' and 'discouraging' asylum seekers and refugees from applying for jobs" and last December's "Investigation of Musk’s Neuralink targets federal oversight of animal testing" it looks like the Federales only have The Boring Co. and xAI to investigate before they are able to turn their attention to The Notorious B.I.G. Grimes.

From the Wall Street Journal, August 30:

Federal prosecutors are seeking information about benefits paid to Elon Musk

Manhattan federal prosecutors are investigating Tesla’s use of company funds on a secret project that had been described internally as a house for Chief Executive Elon Musk, people familiar with the matter said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has sought information about personal benefits paid to Musk, how much Tesla spent on the project—which called for a spacious glass structure to be built in the Austin, Texas, area—and what it was for, the people said.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report in July that Tesla board members had investigated whether company resources were misused on the secret effort, known internally as “Project 42,” and whether Musk was personally involved. The outcome of Tesla’s internal investigation couldn’t be learned.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also opened a civil investigation into Project 42 and is seeking similar information from the company, one of the people said.

The SDNY and SEC investigations are in their early stages and may not lead to formal allegations of wrongdoing.

Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment on this story or the Journal’s previous reporting about Project 42. Spokesmen for the SEC and the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

Employees were working on Project 42 last year, and plans called for a spacious glass building to be erected near the automaker’s Austin-area headquarters, the Journal reported. At one point, the building was envisioned in the shape of a twisted hexagon. Other images showed an expansive glass box that appeared to include a residential area.

Tesla lawyers and board members scrutinized the project after employees became concerned about how the company planned to use millions of dollars in specialized glass that it had ordered.

The status of the project and whether the glass was ever delivered to Tesla couldn’t be learned.

Federal prosecutors also have sought information about the driving range of Tesla’s electric vehicles, people familiar with the matter said. Reuters reported in July that Tesla had inflated the projected distance its vehicles could travel on a single battery charge.

SEC rules require public companies to disclose transactions above $120,000 in which a related party, such as an executive officer, has a material interest....


Jeez Elon, quit with the "42". It was a novel, not a blueprint. 

And didn't you ever hear the one about people who live in glass houses?