Why it matters: Tesla CEO Elon Musk could be in hot water as the DOJ has reportedly opened a criminal investigation into Tesla over tweets he made about taking the company private last month. Musk has since said he plans to keep the company public but the potential market manipulation already took place.
The Justice Department has reportedly launched a criminal probe into Tesla following statements made by CEO Elon Musk on Twitter last month.
Two anonymous sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg News that the investigation is running alongside a previously reported civil inquiry by securities regulators. It's in an early stage, Bloomberg notes, adding that probes like this can take several months and sometimes end with prosecutors deciding not to take action.
Musk on August 7 said on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private once its stock hit $420, adding that funding had already been secured. He later clarified that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had expressed interest in financing the endeavor but after further consideration, decided it was best for Tesla to remain a public company.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia said it had agreed to invest $1 billion into rival Lucid Motors to help with the commercial launch of its first electric vehicle in 2020.
Tesla has not publicly commented on the DOJ probe as of this writing. When reached for comment by Bloomberg, Abraham Simmons, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco, declined to comment on the matter.
Share value in the company is down 4.73 percent on the news.
Musk announced last night during a live webcast that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first person (along with eight people of his choosing) to fly around the Moon aboard SpaceX’s next generation vehicle, the BFR.