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Tesla 'whistleblower' says the company didn't disclose drug trafficking or $37 million...

By Polycount · 16 replies
Aug 17, 2018
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  1. Tesla's 2018 headaches are far from over. The company has faced SEC attention following CEO Elon Musk's tweets about taking the company private -- which some feel is the equivalent of stock manipulation -- and it has even been hit with a lawsuit from a former employee.

    Martin Tripp, the employee in question and self-proclaimed "whistleblower," alleged that Tesla knowingly distributed damaged batteries and used "scrap" parts in its vehicles.

    Now, a second whistleblower has entered the fray: Karl Hansen, a former member of Tesla's internal security department, according to Jalopnik. Both Hansen and Tripp are being represented by the same attorney, Stuart Meissner.

    Hansen alleges in his complaint that a Tesla employee dealt "substantial" amounts of cocaine to third parties, including possible members of a Mexican drug cartel.

    Hansen says Tesla did not disclose these possibilities to its shareholders, despite being approached by authorities about the matter.

    Jalopnik also says Hansen allegedly discovered that $37 million of raw materials had been stolen from Tesla's Gigafactory - a theft he was apparently told to keep quiet about.

    Just to reiterate, these are all allegations, and to our knowledge, none of it has been publicly proven as of writing.

    However, a Tesla spokesperson does seem to at least acknowledge the fact that Hansen brought these concerns to company leadership in the past, suggesting he hasn't merely made them up out of the blue.

    The spokesperson's statement, initially sent via email to TechCrunch, is as follows:

    Mr. Hansen’s allegations were taken very seriously when he brought them forward. Some of his claims are outright false. Others could not be corroborated, so we suggested additional investigative steps to try and validate the information he had received second-hand from a single anonymous source.

    Because we wanted to be sure we got this right, we made numerous attempts to engage further with Mr. Hansen to understand more about what he was claiming and the work that he did in reaching his conclusions.

    He rejected each of those attempts, and to date has refused to speak with the company further. It seems strange that Mr. Hansen would claim that he is concerned about something happening within the company, but then refuse to engage with the company to discuss the information that he believes he has.

    As was the case when we reported on Tripp's lawsuit against Tesla, it's tough to say which side is in the right here. This matter will undoubtedly be settled in court down the line.

    With that said, Hansen's claims are pretty outlandish and will require some substantial evidence before the public, or government agencies, will take them seriously.

    Permalink to story.

  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,979   +2,283

    Who knows whether this guy is telling the truth, but nothing, absolutely nothing would surprise me about this if it is true. As I see it, and from other headlines, it sounds like Musk has some real issues. IMO, he is just as notable as one other prominent public figure, and in many ways, seems to act nearly the same as that other public figure.
  3. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +472

    If there is drug trafficking going on then it is job for FBI and DEA, not a company's management.

    $37 million worth of 'raw materials' are no easy thing to hide and must leave a trial. If true, everyone should cooperate.
    senketsu and JaredTheDragon like this.
  4. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +110

    Substantial amounts of cocaine? Millions in material theft? Somebody over at Tesla is partying a little too hardy. Can revelations of a corporate prostitution ring be far behind?
    Reehahs and JaredTheDragon like this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,389   +3,777

    Musk has multiple suite's from the SEC, has had labor problems since he started up, and has all sorts of issues with the safety of his "automatic steering" systems. And now there is concern among his stock holders about some of his prescription drug use. Me thinks he is headed for an ugly demise ......
  6. Fobus

    Fobus TS Addict Posts: 104   +75

    How do you steal "$37 million of raw materials" from a factory?
    Reehahs and JaredTheDragon like this.
  7. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 583   +383

    Inside job. Musk isn't anywhere near as wealthy as reported, so there's every reason to believe he was in on it as well.
  8. employee theft is rampant. A person or more likely a group of persons found a way to 'cook the books' and make the stuff 'disappear' from inventory for personal profit.
  9. Fobus

    Fobus TS Addict Posts: 104   +75

    Yeah, I get that (although $37 million is an awful lot of cooking not to be noticed, it's physical goods afterall, not some complicated financial instrument), but how do you offload that? It seems like the logistics of selling raw materials would make it nearly impossible.
  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,902

    This just sounds too fantasy to be believable. Materials worth about 700-800 tesla cars were stolen? You can't hide that in the books. And wtf is with that "one employee's alleged drug trafficking activities"? Tesla has almost 40k employees.
    Reehahs likes this.
  11. AtWitsEnd

    AtWitsEnd TS Rookie

    So if I got hired by Apple as a retail worker, and sold drugs, that means that Apple is dealing drugs? Strange logic. Nanny state mentality.
    H3llion likes this.
  12. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,693   +438

    Anything these irrelevant toads do to discredit & taint Musk.
  13. I agree with you, but one thing I've learned is to never underestimate the ingenuity of thieves/criminals
    edit: hell, for all I know a fleet of Tesla's is on its way to some Nigerian Prince right now!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2018
  14. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,547   +1,767

    John Delorian is spinning in his grave.....
    wiyosaya likes this.
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,979   +2,283

    Again, we do not know, however, I do agree with you. Yet, if management knew about the drug dealing and said nothing to anyone, the FBI, the DEA, or any law enforcement agency, that is likely the actions of an accessory after the fact - https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/accessory-after-the-fact/

    I could also see that if management knew something, told the authorities, and the authorities were investigating and management said nothing to the share holders (assuming that they were not asked by the authorities to keep quiet), then they failed to disclose something to the shareholders that could have adversely affected the public image of the company and thus share value.

    Obviously, if they are on the right side of the law, then management had no part in the illegality of the operation. Still, withholding information like that from the shareholders, deliberately, is a form of deception. As I see it, when you are dealing with shareholders and shady areas like this, it is by far best to be brutally honest. If you are not, it looks like you are attempting to manipulate share price - which is, as we all should know, a very big no-no in the eyes of shareholders and the SEC.

    If there were illegal dealings with some really bad entity that were not disclosed, that really bad entity might be able to use that information as a form of blackmail, too. Not at all a good thing and it would compromise the company in some form. So, it is likely pertinent information with respect to share price.

    If they were asked by the authorities to keep quiet, that is quite a different matter.

    BTW - I am not a lawyer. This is purely my own opinion.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    Reehahs likes this.
  16. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 465   +346

    I believe backpage names, numbers & other info is still frozen. Sex trafficking and prostitution was a major issue with backpage and people from large companies being caught. Mark my words more people will be called out as time goes on.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,979   +2,283

    (y) (Y) As they should be, IMO.

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