In the latest development of the saga of Tesla vs Martin Tripp, the automaker’s former employee being sued for hacking Tesla’s manufacturing software and stealing information, Tripp and his lawyer now claim that they are now working with the SEC, which is reportedly investigating Tesla.
Last month, we learned that a Tesla employee, Martin Tripp, had sabotaged software in the automaker’s manufacturing system and stolen data.
Tesla is suing Tripp for leaking the data, misrepresenting it in the media, and messing with its manufacturing software.
While Tesla presented Tripp as a “saboteur”, the former technician is attempting to rebrand himself as a “whistleblower”.
He hired Stuart Meissner, an attorney who has often represented whistleblowers with cases for the SEC, and the attorney now claims that the Securities and Exchange Commission has contacted them in regards to cooperating on a case about Tesla:
Good News -received a call back this week from SEC Enforcement on Mr. Tripp's $TSLA Whistleblower submission. Will be following up next week.We intend to fully cooperate. Will not be commenting on our interactions going forward out of respect for the SEC. https://t.co/HaqNGY9Jmx
— Stuart D. Meissner (@StuartMeissner) July 25, 2018
The SEC generally never discloses that it is investigating any specific companies and it asks parties involved to do the same.
There have been rumors of Tesla being under an SEC investigation for years now, but those rumors are often traced back to Tesla shorts and they haven’t added up to much so far.
Though Tesla did receive a slap on the wrist from the SEC over its accounting method back in 2017.
What Tripp would have to offer to the SEC that he didn’t offer to the media already is unclear at this point.
One of the stories that came out of the data that Tripp stole was that Tesla’s Model 3 production was producing an “insane amount” of scrap at Gigafactory 1.
Tesla denied that the amount of scrap was abnormal for the level of production at the plant and there wasn’t much to prove that it wasn’t the case. It was the same situation over a claim that Tesla was putting punctured battery cells inside battery packs.
Tripp has also claimed that Tesla has been misreporting Model 3 production to investors, which would certainly be something the SEC would have to investigate, but that’s not something that he originally shared with the media.
Now his lawyer claims to be investigating links between Tesla and SpaceX:
We are investigating the possible use of $TSLA resources, $ and otherwise, on behalf of the private company Space X. Anyone who may have information related to such possible issue, please contact our law office confidentially 866-764-3100 to discuss. Attorney Advertising.
— Stuart D. Meissner (@StuartMeissner) July 26, 2018
The fact that Tesla and SpaceX are sharing resources is not new information whatsoever. We have often reported on such efforts – most recently with our report on the Tesla and SpaceX collaboration to develop new materials: Tesla and SpaceX are partnering up to create new materials to use on Earth and in space.
Like I said before when reporting on this weird saga, we don’t have all the details and therefore it’s hard to form a valid opinion, but what is clear is that Tripp doesn’t sound like he is in his right mind.
Several statements and emails that came out throughout the proceedings so far make him sound kind of crazy. Like saying “he is going to have what’s coming for him” about Musk and accusing him of doing cocaine.
He definitely doesn’t seem like a stable person and more like those many anon Twitter accounts consistently attacking Tesla. Does it mean that everything he says is wrong? No.
But I find it weird that he appears to have leaked information to the media months before going to the SEC, which he didn’t do before being sued by Tesla and claiming to now be a whistleblower.
Therefore, I have my doubts about the legitimacy of his claims and at this point, I doubt he will bring to light valuable information to the public, investors, or the SEC, and this thing will likely just turn into a feeding frenzy for the lawyers.
That’s just my opinion. What do you guys think? Let us know in the comment section below.