According to The Wall Street Journal, at least two government organizations are investigating Tesla’s “Project 42,” a secret glass house project. The journal stated in July that the automaker’s board of directors initiated a probe into allegations that its CEO, Elon Musk, was using corporate funds for the project. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has reportedly requested information on how much Tesla spent on the project as well as personal perks Musk receives. Similarly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated a civil investigation and is seeking the same material, according to the Journal.
The Project 42 plans called for the construction of a glass structure that seemed to be a living space complete with beds, bathrooms, and a kitchen near Tesla’s Austin, Texas headquarters. A “twisted hexagon” or a glass cube akin to Apple’s 5th Avenue store were two proposals. According to the Journal, the board initiated an investigation after employees expressed worries about the special glass bought for the project, which they say will cost the company millions of dollars. It’s unclear whether the inquiry is complete and whether the company’s order for the unique glass was fulfilled.
According to the journal, the SEC requires transactions worth more than $120,000 when an officer has a financial interest in them. Any personal benefits paid to CEOs in excess of $10,000 must be reported to investors as well. However, authorities have only recently begun investigating the effort, and these investigations may not result in official charges.
In addition to Project 42 investigations, Tesla is apparently being investigated by federal prosecutors regarding the driving range of its vehicles. The company is being investigated after Reuters reported last month that its EVs routinely fail to meet range estimates and that the corporation established a team especially to cancel repair appointments connected to driving range complaints.
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