The Justice Department has reportedly expanded its investigation into Tesla CEO Elon Musk to determine whether the company failed to disclose personal benefits given to him, including his alleged plan to use company funds to build the billionaire a custom glass house.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have expanded the criminal investigation to see if charges could be brought against Musk or Tesla for perks the world’s richest man may have obtained since 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Last month, The Journal reported that prosecutors in the Southern District of New York were investigating a secret project that Tesla insiders described as a home for Musk near Tesla’s factory and headquarters in Austin, Texas .
The initiative – known to Tesla employees as “Project 42” – involved a glass-walled, lakeside structure shaped like a twisted hexagon near the banks of the Colorado River, and was the subject of of an investigation launched by members of the company’s board of directors. , according to Le Journal.
The results of the council’s investigation were never revealed.
Musk used his social media platform, I will not build a house anywhere.
The Post sought comment from Musk, Tesla and the Justice Department.
In 2021, Musk revealed in a tweet that he lives in a 375-square-foot modular home that he rents for $50,000 from SpaceX at its launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. He had spent the previous year selling off much of his real estate portfolio.
Earlier this year, Tesla employees reportedly expressed concern over millions of dollars of specialty glass ordered using company funds, according to the Journal.
Board members are reportedly investigating the extent to which Musk was involved in the project and whether company resources were misused, The Journal reported earlier this summer.
In July, Bloomberg News reported that Tesla had laid off several employees and was expected to oust one of Musk’s top lieutenants, Omead Afshar, who was charged with running the Giga Texas factory.
The layoffs were the subject of an internal investigation into a suspicious order involving hard-to-obtain building materials — a special type of glass, whose destination was unknown, according to Bloomberg News.
Tesla is also facing scrutiny from federal prosecutors and Securities and Exchange Commission investigators, who are looking into whether the electric car maker misled investors and consumers about Autopilot’s performance , its advanced driving assistance system.
News of the federal investigation surrounding Tesla’s Autopilot program was first revealed last fall by The Journal.
According to Walter Isaacson’s recently released biography “Elon Musk,” the Tesla mogul “began dreaming” of building a house on the land of a horse farm he recently purchased just across the river Colorado.
Isaacson reported that Musk, who sold all his real estate in Los Angeles before moving the company’s headquarters to Texas, hired famous British architect Lord Norman Foster.
Foster, who designed Apple’s futuristic circle-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, California, was tapped to help design a plan for the property.
“It should be like something falling from space, like a structure from another galaxy landing in the lake,” Musk reportedly told Foster.
Musk proposed sticking a shard of glass out of the lake, according to Isaacson’s book.
The ground floor of the house would be partially submerged in water, “accessed by a tunnel from another structure on the shore,” Isaacson wrote.
When Isaacson told Musk that “it didn’t really look like a family home,” the mogul responded, “It’s more of an art project than a house.” »
According to the author, Musk postponed its construction.
New York Post