The Justice Department is looking into Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweeted claim last month that he had “secured funding” to take the company private, a spokesperson for the company confirmed today.
“Last month, following Elon’s announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it,” the Tesla spokesperson said.
Bloomberg reported today that federal prosecutors had opened a fraud investigation into Musk’s claim of securing take-private funding, for which he never offered evidence.
“We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process,” the Tesla spokesperson said, maintaining Tesla believes “the matter should be quickly resolved.”
Spokespeople for the DOJ declined to comment, telling POLITICO the agency generally doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
The probe is being run in tandem with a Securities and Exchange Commission fraud investigation, according to Bloomberg. The SEC has reportedly been looking into whether Musk’s claim was truthful.
Tesla shares spiked when Musk tweeted Aug. 7, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” They’ve since tumbled amid woes including the abrupt exit of Tesla’s newly appointed chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, and a wave of personal controversies for Musk.