A former Tesla employee Elon Musk called 'a horrible human being' is meeting with the SEC

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderIn June, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Tripp.
  • Former Tesla employee and “whistleblower” Martin Tripp is meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tripp’s lawyer, Stuart Meissner, said on Wednesday.
  • Earlier this month, Tripp filed a tip with the SEC.
  • Meissner told Business Insider that while the meeting does not guarantee the SEC will launch a formal investigation on behalf of Tripp, it is a promising step in that direction.
  • According to The Washington Post, his complaint repeats claims Tripp had previously made to Business Insider, including that Tesla used batteries with puncture holes in vehicles meant for consumers. Tesla has previously denied this claim.

Former Tesla employee Martin Tripp is meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tripp’s lawyer, Stuart Meissner, said on Wednesday.

“Good News – received a call back this week from SEC Enforcement on Mr. Tripp’s$TSLAWhistleblower submission. Will be following up next week. We intend to fully cooperate,” Meissner said on Twitter.

Earlier this month, Tripp filed a tip with the SEC. According to The Washington Post, his complaint repeats claims Tripp had previously made to Business Insider, including that Tesla used batteries with puncture holes in vehicles meant for consumers. Tesla has previously denied this claim.

Tripp also claimed the company overreported Model 3 production by up to 44%, according to the Post.

Meissner specialises in SEC whistleblowing cases and represented a former Monsanto executive who won a $US22.5 million award for alerting the SEC to improper accounting practices at the company.

Meissner told Business Insider that approximately 70% of the whistleblower tips he files with the SEC on behalf of clients don’t receive a response from the agency. While he said a meeting with the SEC doesn’t guarantee it will launch a formal investigation, in his experience, a response from the agency will often lead to more than one conversation.

“To get a callback on a case, I deem it very significant,” he said.

“I don’t remember the last time it ended with just a callback and an initial phone conference. Usually, it continues on.”

The SEC and Tesla declined to comment.

In its 2017 annual report, the SEC said it had received over 22,000 whistleblower tips since August 2012 and given 46 people whistleblower awards.

In June, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Tripp, alleging that he hacked confidential company information and gave it to parties outside the company.

In an email exchange with Tripp, Tesla CEO Elon Musk called him “a horrible human being.”

In an interview with The Guardian , Tripp said he leaked information about the company because his supervisors and other senior employees were not responsive to his concerns. He also told The Guardian he did not intend to commit sabotage against the company, but was instead concerned about safety.

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