Stuart D. Meissner, a lawyer specializing in SEC whistleblower cases who has been filing several claims against Tesla, apparently found a former Tesla security manager to corroborate claims of unreported large theft and criminal activity at Gigafactory 1.

In August of 2018, Meissner filed a complaint about Tesla with the SEC on behalf of Karl Hansen, a former Tesla security employee at Gigafactory 1.

The basis of the complaint was, according to Hansen, that Tesla failed to disclose to investors and authorities several alleged crimes at Gigafactory 1.

Based on the complaints, Hansen claimed that Tesla:

  • Failing to disclose to shareholders that $37 million worth of copper and other raw materials were stolen from the Gigafactory in the first half of 2018;
  • Spying on employees, specifically by wiretapping and hacking their cell phones and computers;
  • Failing to disclose to local law enforcement and to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that Gigafactory employees may have been in drug trafficking; and
  • Retaliating against Hansen for raising such issues, internally, by firing him in mid-July.

At the time, Tesla said that it looked into those claims when Hansen first brought them up to them but they found that some of them were “outright false” and “others could not be corroborated.”

Now, Meissner has filed another SEC whistleblowing tip against Tesla. This time it’s from Sean Gouthro, who was a Security Operations Center & Investigations Manager at Gigafactory 1 between December 2017 and January 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The new tip reportedly corroborates Hansen’s claims and also mention that some employees were skeptical of Tesla going private after Elon Musk’s ‘funding secured’ comment, which was also the subject of a SEC complaint.

Neither Tesla nor the SEC has commented on the tip.

Electrek’s Take

I am highly skeptical of this. Meissner seems untrustworthy and to have ulterior motives. He is fairly active on Twitter and often interacts with the Tesla short community there.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that they are after money here. It’s not some kind of “I’m just trying to do the right thing” whistleblowing.

If a tip is used as part of a case and money is recovered, the SEC uses parts of the money recovered to compensate the whistleblower. That’s how Meissner and his clients make their money.

I feel like if any of this is true, it should have been reported to other authorities other than the SEC, like the FBI, DEA, or local police. It has little to nothing to do with the SEC.

It’s now the third SEV tip that he has filed against Tesla and It looks like they are throwing things at the wall and seeing if anything sticks. A big part of why I think that is the mention of the funding secured comment, which they know that is already part of a SEC case.

There’s no way that a manager at Gigafactory 1 saying that some employees were skeptical about the comment would be helpful in the case, but they see the SEC going after Tesla here and they want part of it.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.


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