DOJ Investigating Tesla over Elon Musk's Statements

DOJ Investigating Tesla over Elon Musk's Statements

SEC enforcement attorneys in the San Francisco office were already investigating Tesla before Musk sent his tweet on taking the company private, Bloomberg reported August 9.

News of the Justice Department's investigation was related to Bloomberg News by two individuals familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg reported on a statement from Tesla saying they received "a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it".

That sent shares soaring and raised concerns Musk made the announcement to give Tesla's stock price a boost.

Earlier this month Musk abandoned plans to take Tesla private after shareholders had persuaded him against the idea. Elon Musk believes that the "production hell" for the Model 3 may finally be coming to an end as Tesla ramps up its Model 3 production.

The lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles federal court on Monday seeks more than $75,000 in damages and a court order stopping Musk from making further allegations. Musk has provided no evidence whatsoever of his claims at any point, nor explained why he would attack a man he supposedly knew to be a child molester via Twitter and email rather than turning over evidence to the authorities.

In a blog seeking to temper outrage after his tweet, Musk said the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had approached him "multiple times about taking Tesla private", thus justifying his "funding secured" claim. Tesla said it had not been subpoenaed.

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Tesla itself is also under investigation because statements by its CEO can be considered the official word of the company.

The case adds to a slew of litigation against Musk, including over his running of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which the billionaire has said has caused him severe stress.

CNN has reached out for comment to the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco, which is leading the probe, according to the Bloomberg report.

It's unclear whether the criminal investigation is that broad.

They also say that Mr Musk "falsely conveyed that [the] United Kingdom a paedophile, child rapist, a child sex-trafficker, the husband of a 12-year-old child bride and a liar".

Critics said such conversations were a long way from having "funding secured" for taking the company private at a stock price significantly higher than where it was trading.