A former Tesla employee was today charged by a state grand jury with embezzling about $ 9.3 million of Elon Musk's electric car business over the past two years. The indictment is the result of an FBI investigation.
The 32-year-old Salil Parulekar allegedly participated in a system that diverted payments, forged invoices, falsified identity theft, and deceived a Tesla supplier's employee, according to the US District Attorney for the Northern District of California on Thursday:
According to the indictment, Parulekar learned in January 2017 that Tesla had terminated its supplier relationship with Schwabische Huttenwerke Automotive GmbH ("SHW"). At the time of termination, SHW had only supplied a limited number of sample products, in particular motor pumps, to Tesla. Parulekar allegedly knew that the termination meant that Tesla withheld future payments to SHW and that Parulekar was not authorized to oppose this decision. Despite these facts, Parulekar diverted a number of payments made to another supplier, Hota Industrial Manufacturing Co., Ltd. ("Hota"), and caused them to be paid to SHW.
Parulekar is charged with nine wire numbers fraud and a count of increased identity theft. According to the DOJ, a maximum fine of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 will be imposed on any number of wire frauds. The maximum fine for stolen identity theft is two years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.
A LinkedIn page, which seems to belong to Parulekar, suggests that someone with the same name for more than four years working for Tesla is being presented there, is precisely, last worked there last December.
Gizmodo has contacted both Tesla and the Procuratorate to comment on it, and will update this article when we hear it.
[Department of Justice]