Former Tesla Employee Allegedly Corroborates Another’s Claims of Company Misconduct

March 11, 2019, 8:11 PM UTC

A former Tesla employee has filed a whistleblower tip with the Securities and Exchange Commission, corroborating another ex-employee’s claims of company malpractice, Business Insider reported Monday.

Last August, former internal security employee Karl Hansen reported that Tesla had spied on employee devices, hid the theft of $37 million of raw materials from shareholders, and failed to report alleged drug trafficking at a the company’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

The new tip from Sean Gouthro, the former head of Tesla’s global security operations center and investigations, corroborates Hansen’s claims, the law firm representing both told Business Insider.

Gouthro’s tip also reportedly says suggestions to take the company private in 2018 were discussed before CEO Elon Musk tweeted about it—causing an SEC lawsuit that was settled at the end of September—and “many were suspect of the purported deal’s legitimacy.”

Tesla denies the claims of both former employees.

“Like the claims of Mr. Meissner’s other clients, Mr. Gouthro’s allegations are untrue and sensationalized, only intended to seek the attention of the media,” a Tesla spokesperson told The Verge, referring to law firm Meissner Associates, which represents Hansen, Gouthro, and Martin Tripp, a third former Telsa employee with claims against the company.

Gouthro was let go after working for the company for around a year, said Tesla, citing his “poor performance, including repeated failure to demonstrate and understand best practices in the security industry.”

Telsa said Gouthro was interviewed by a Tesla compliance attorney last year “as part of an internal investigation into some of the very issues he is now bringing forward,” and, at the time, “he raised absolutely none of the concerns he has now brought to the media.”