The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating nan individual benefits that Tesla whitethorn person provided its CEO Elon Musk since 2017 arsenic portion of a criminal probe that is besides looking into nan usage of institution costs to build a proposed solid house.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for nan Southern District of New York has besides requested accusation astir transactions betwixt Tesla and different entities connected to Musk, according to a study from nan Wall Street Journal that cites group acquainted pinch nan matter.
This revelation into nan grade of national scrutiny beyond nan solid location — a concealed task that has been described internally arsenic location for Musk — indicates that prosecutors are pursuing imaginable criminal charges.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is besides investigating nan concealed “Project 42” house, which was reportedly planned adjacent Tesla’s Austin-area factory.
The feds want to cognize whether Tesla decently disclosed nan perks Musk received. Tesla has successful nan past said it doesn’t supply perks aliases individual benefits to apical executives.
Musk has responded to claims astir a solid location by saying that nary has been built, is nether building aliases is planned. The billionaire’s precocious launched curriculum vitae by Walter Isaacson does so person mention of a solid house, but says Musk “put disconnected building it.”
“It should beryllium for illustration thing fell retired of space, for illustration a building from different postulation landed successful nan lake,” said Musk, arsenic reported by Isaacson successful a section of nan book titled ‘A house, not a home.’ The conception elaborate Musk’s dream of building a family location successful Austin and his determination to build 1 connected a equine workplace that he had bought crossed nan Colorado River from Giga Texas.
The investigations into nan solid location began internally, aft labor were concerned astir really millions of dollars of large-format solid panels Tesla ordered would beryllium used. Zack Kirkhorn, Tesla’s CFO who stepped down successful August, was among those who raised concerns.
Tesla is not nan only institution to beryllium questioned by nan SEC and DOJ regarding executive perks. SEC regulations require nationalist companies to disclose those perks and different individual benefits provided to apical executives if nan full worth is $10,000 aliases more. These tin see reimbursement for housing, backstage information aliases airplane use.