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Report: US Justice Department Widens Probe Into Alleged Perks Musk Received From Tesla

© AP Photo / Susan WalshTesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.09.2023
A report has suggested that federal prosecutors may be pursuing potential criminal charges amid an ongoing investigation into the business practices of Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk.
A newly surfaced report has revealed that US federal prosecutors are digging into the personal benefits that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk may have received through Tesla, going all the way back to 2017.
The exclusive report points out that the timeframe offered dates further back in time than was previously known, adding that the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York has also sought information about transactions between Tesla and other “entities” connected to Musk.
The prosecutors, the report says, have also referenced the involvement of a grand jury.

The findings come three weeks after news first broke that the US Department if Justice was reportedly investigating Tesla’s use of company resources on a house for Musk.

The US Attorney's Office was reported to have sought information about personal benefits paid to Musk, including how much Tesla spent on the project, destined for Austin, Texas, and what it was intended to be used for. The project was known internally as “Project 42.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also opened a separate civil investigation into the project.

Despite tweeting that he would own “no house” in May of 2020, the outlet earlier detailed “Project 42” was an all-glass home for Musk to live in. By July, the paper also reported that Tesla board members conducted an internal investigation on whether or not company resources were misused. The result of said investigation has not yet been reported.

On the platform X, which Musk owns, he wrote: “Just want to reiterate that there is no glass house (metaphors don’t count lol) built, under construction or planned! I’m not building any house of any kind anywhere. Period.”

The Justice Department and the SEC have been cracking down on several other companies regarding executive perks, the report said. The SEC regulations require public companies to disclose perks and other personal benefits to top executives if the total value of those benefits is $10,000 or more. Reimbursement on personal benefits can include reimbursement for private security, housing allowances or airplane use.
SpaceX, Twitter and electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.09.2023
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Transactions above $120,000 in which an executive officer or other related party has a material interest must also be disclosed, according to regulations.
Tesla has said that they do not generally provide perks or other personal benefits to their top executives.
“Companies have been paying attention to the SEC’s enforcement efforts and tightening their controls in this area, which is likely resulting in changes to perks or increased disclosures,” said Stephen L. Cohen, a lawyer at Sidley Austin. “But I believe there is also a view at the SEC that the public cares about executive perks.”
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