Karl Hansen, a former security employee of Tesla, has filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He accusing the maker of electric vehicles of theft and spying on its workers. He is the second former employee of Tesla to come forward.
Just like Martin Tripp, the former Tesla technician, Stuart Meissner represents Hansen in his complaint. On Thursday, in a statement that was made through Meissner, Hansen alleged Tesla of:
- Not disclosing to shareholders that approximately $37 million worth of copper and other raw materials were stolen from the Gigafactory during the first half of this year;
- Spying on its employees, specifically by hacking and wiretapping their computers and cell phones;
- Not disclosing to the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States and to local law enforcement that employees of the Gigafactory may have been involved in drug trafficking; and
- Retaliating against Hansen for acting as a whistleblower for such issues, internally, by removing him from the company in mid-July.
In an email to CNBC, Meissner said that his client authorized the release of his name and the details regarding the case.
Meissner stated: “I do not want other whistleblowers to think that we distribute their identity or even discuss their matters publicly at all, as we do not unless they request such.”
The said accusations come at a time of intense investigation on Tesla and Elon Musk, its CEO and chairman. Recently, Musk drew fire for saying in a tweet that he was considering taking the company private at $420 per share and had “funding secured.”
On Thursday, the shares of Tesla dropped by 0.8 percent to $336 and are currently trading below their price at the time of the tweet of Musk.
The ongoing investigations at Tesla do not disclose a discovery of wrongdoing, however, it could affect the confidence of investors. Meissner has a long history of working with whistleblowers and the SEC. Previously, he represented a former executive of Monsanto who claimed that the company committed accounting fraud. It led to a settlement amounting to $80 million between Monsanto and the SEC in 2016.