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Tesla Accuses Executive in Lawsuit of Impersonating Musk

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Frederick Jones
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Tesla Motors Inc. sued a man it said was the chief financial officer of a firm that works for the oil industry, accusing him of trying to impersonate Elon Musk in an e-mail to get nonpublic data about the automaker.When Tesla disclosed its second-quarter financial results Aug. 3, its finance chief, Jason Wheeler, received an e-mail from [email protected] requesting more detailed data than had been released earlier in the day, according to the lawsuit.Tesla said in its complaint filed Wednesday in California state court that the e-mail came from Todd Katz, who Tesla said worked for Quest Integrity Group LLC.

Through the deceptive e-mail, Katz sought to acquire highly confidential and proprietary Tesla business information," according to a copy of the complaint provided by Tesla s lawyer.Katz didn t immediately respond to phone messages left after regular business hours with Quest Integrity in Seattle.The Palo Alto, California, maker of electric cars had reported a quarterly loss of $293 million based on generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP.

Using adjusted figures, it said it lost $150 million, or $1.06 per share.Tesla s shares have fallen more than 18 percent this year, as the safety of the company s Autopilot feature has been questioned following crashes.

Some investors also have misgivings about the company s pending acquisition of money-losing solar company SolarCity Corp. Tesla co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk s woes deepened this month with the explosion of one of his SpaceX rockets on the launch pad.Tesla said the e-mail received by Wheeler was signed em.

It read, Why you so cautious w Q3/4 guidance on call.

What is ur best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables.

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Frederick Jones
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