After SEC settlement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is still facing more legal woes

  • The SEC lawsuit against Elon Musk for alleged fraud isn't the only legal action against the Tesla CEO for his Aug. 7 take-private tweet.
  • The Justice Department is also investigating the matter, in which Musk claimed to have "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 a share.
  • The new charges and investigation follow a proposed class-action lawsuit led by Andrew Left of Citron Research.
  • The short seller says Tesla and Musk manipulated the stock price by issuing materially false and misleading information in his tweets.
Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
Joshua Lott | Getty Images
Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

The SEC lawsuit against Elon Musk for alleged fraud, which the parties settled in a surprise announcement on Saturday, isn't the only legal action against the Tesla CEO for his Aug. 7 take-private tweet.

TheJustice Department is also investigating the matter, in which Musk claimed to have "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed its suit on Thursday, but struck an agreement with Musk and Tesla two days later. Both will have to pay $20 million apiece for the fiasco.

The new charges and investigation followed a proposed class-action lawsuit led by Andrew Left of Citron Research, a short seller, who says Tesla and Musk manipulated the stock price by issuing materially false and misleading information in tweets.

Here are some of the investigations, complaints and suits that could most affect Tesla:

  • NHTSA and NTSB regularly investigate crashes involving Tesla vehicles and the use of "Autopilot" features.
  • In a lawsuit, former Tesla sales manager Adam Williams claims the company demoted then fired him after he complained they sold used cars to customers without disclosing those cars were previously lemons.
  • A former Tesla technician, Martin Tripp, filed a whistleblower complaint to the SEC claiming Tesla misrepresented its rate of vehicle and battery production and used flawed materials in its car batteries. Separately, Tesla fired and then sued Tripp on charges of leaking company data to the media and engaging in sabotage. Tripp has countersued the company for defamation.
  • A former Tesla security employee, Karl Hansen, filed a separate whistleblower complaint to the SEC claiming Tesla covered up theft and narcotics trafficking reported by employees at its battery plant in Sparks, Nevada.
  • A former employee, Marcus Vaughn, is pursuing a class-action lawsuit against Tesla in California alleging that the company ignored black employees' reports of rampant racism. A Tesla attempt to force this case into arbitration was denied in June.
  • The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint in August accusing Musk of violating labor laws with a tweet on May 20 that employees wouldn't have stock options if they formed a union.
  • Tesla-owned SolarCity is the subject of multiple and as yet undisclosed SEC probes discovered by Probes Reporter, a firm that publishes FOIA research for investors.
  • In addition, Musk is being sued by expert spelunker Verne Unsworth, whom Musk claimed without evidence was a pedophile and child rapist. Musk lobbed those dramatic accusations at Unsworth after the cave diver questioned the Musk's attempts to aid in the rescue of a Thai boys soccer team. Unsworth was part of the successful rescue effort and was critical of Musk's approach.