accuses of trying to sabotage the company
and stealing trade secrets has reinforced his claims that he's a
whistleblower by filing a formal complaint with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission.
Martin Tripp's July 6 whistleblower tip accuses Tesla
having installed unsafe, punctured batteries into cars, exaggerating
to investors about Model
production numbers by as much as 44 percent,
lowering vehicle specifications, and using scrap and waste materials
in vehicles in the company's mad rush to meet Musk's production goals
for the Model
Tripp's complaints, per Bloomberg
summarized in a statement from the New York law firm Meissner
Associates, which has represented other whistleblowers and is led by
Stuart Meissner, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and
assistant New York state attorney general.
Tesla hasn't commented on the complaint. It filed
a lawsuit against Tripp
last month in a
federal court in Nevada, alleging that the former Gigafactory process
technician hacked Tesla's manufacturing operating system, wrote
data-exporting code to run on other employees' computers and sent
proprietary data and photos to unnamed third parties. Musk and Tripp
also engaged in a testy email exchange in which Musk called his former
employee "a horrible human being." Tripp has also set up a GoFundMe
to raise $500,000 to hire a lawyer in
"Getting the truth out has become a nightmare," Tripp said in a
"While we have had to relocate due to threats and harassment, both
online and offline, making it difficult to press on, my family and I
have also received a ton of support, which keeps us going."
Where all this goes from here is anyone's guess. SEC whistleblowers
are eligible for payouts if their voluntary tips lead to successful
SEC enforcement actions.