WTF?! Mere weeks after former Tesla employee and self-proclaimed whistleblower Martin Tripp made serious allegations about the company, another whistleblower is following suit. Karl Hansen, a former member of Tesla's internal investigation department, says the company failed to disclose $37 million worth of material theft and one employee's alleged drug trafficking activities to its shareholders.
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.