The Tesla-Musk investigation has recently come into the spotlight, with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) launching a civil investigation of Tesla’s “Project 42” and reports that a grand jury is involved.
There is skepticism about whether or not Musk actually engaged in any illegal activities related to Tesla’s finances or operations.
Many conservatives have long believed that regulations are too strict and that businesses should not be punished for minor infractions without clear evidence of malpractice being present.
The probe has been ongoing since 2017 and has recently expanded to include transactions between Tesla and other entities connected to Musk. People familiar with the investigation have indicated that a grand jury is involved, signaling the gravity of the situation.
One of the focal points of the investigation is “Project 42,” a plan to construct an expansive glass building near Tesla’s Austin-area factory and headquarters. While Musk has stated on social media that there isn’t a glass house “built, under construction or planned,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened a separate civil investigation into the project, which follows an internal investigation of the project, which may be a glass mansion for Musk.
Prosecutors are also examining whether Tesla has properly disclosed any perks that Musk might have received.
At Tesla, Musk has at times personally guided what information is disclosed to shareholders. The company has stated that it generally doesn’t provide perks or other personal benefits to its top executives, raising questions about the nature of these undisclosed benefits.
In addition to the undisclosed perks and “Project 42,” Manhattan-based federal prosecutors have sought information about the driving range of Tesla’s electric vehicles.
This inquiry comes on the heels of other investigations into whether Tesla misled consumers and investors about the performance of its advanced driver-assistance system known as Autopilot.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.