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Justice Department Probe Scrutinizes Elon Musk Perks at Tesla Going Back Years

WSJ: Federal prosecutors also have sought information about transactions between Tesla and other entities related to the billionaire – “Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing personal benefits may have provided Elon Musk since 2017—longer than previously known—as part of a criminal investigation examining issues including a proposed house for the chief executive.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also has sought information about transactions between Tesla and other entities connected to the billionaire, people familiar with the investigation said. Prosecutors have referenced the involvement of a grand jury.  The new information indicates that federal prosecutors have a broader interest in the actions of Musk and Tesla than was previously known and that they are pursuing potential criminal charges. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the Justice Department is investigating Tesla’s use of company resources on a secret project that was described internally as a house for Musk.  The house effort was known within the carmaker as “Project 42,” and plans called for an expansive glass building to be constructed near Tesla’s Austin-area factory and headquarters.  The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a separate civil investigation into the project, the Journal has reported…Among the questions prosecutors are examining is whether Tesla properly disclosed perks Musk might have received. Internal or external lawyers typically handle such disclosures. At Tesla, Musk has at times personally guided what information to disclose to shareholders. It couldn’t be learned whether that was the case with any perks that prosecutors are scrutinizing. Tesla has said it generally doesn’t provide perks or other personal benefits to its top executives. The Manhattan-based federal prosecutors also have sought information about a separate issue, the driving range of Tesla’s electric vehicles, the Journal reported in its article last month…”

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