Karl Hansen, filed a tip, complaints and referrals form to the SEC about the Gigafactory on 9 August which accused the company of spying on employees and failing to act after learning that a Mexican cartel may be dealing drugs inside the plant.
Hansen was a member of Tesla’s internal investigations team and could collect 10 percent to 30 percent of penalties the SEC collects.
Tesla said it took the allegations that Hansen brought to the electric car maker seriously and investigated.
“Some of his claims are outright false. Others could not be corroborated”, Tesla said in the statement.
Hansen alleged that Tesla, at the direction of Musk, installed surveillance equipment at the Gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada to eavesdrop on employees mobiles while at work.
Hansen claims that Tesla did not disclose to investors that thieves stole $37 million in copper and other raw materials during the first half of 2018, according to his attorney.
Tesla didn’t tell investors that it received written notice from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration about a Tesla employee possibly engaged in selling cocaine and crystal methamphetamine from the Nevada factory on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel/
Hansen alleges that he found ties between the Tesla employee and members of the cartel and urged Tesla to disclose that information to the DEA, his attorney said in the news release. Hansen said he was subject to retaliation and fired on July 16 after raising the issues internally. He is the second Tesla employee to file a whistleblower complaint with the SEC.
Martin Tripp, another former Gigafactory worker represented by Meissner, told the SEC that Tesla inflated the number of Model 3s being produced each week, that it used punctured batteries in its vehicles, and that it reused scrapped parts in vehicles “without regard to safety,” according to his attorney.
Tesla denies those claims.
Tripp’s tip to the SEC was filed after he was fired, sued by Tesla for hacking trade secrets and transferring internal documents to third parties.