Pretending to be Elon Musk in an e-mail sent to Tesla’s CFO, the executive of an oil pipeline services company was trying to find out non-public financial info.
As per the complaint filed yesterday by Tesla against Todd Katz in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, the oil exec is being accused of creating the hilarious e-mail “firstname.lastname@example.org” solely for the purpose of trying to impersonate Elon Musk. He used that e-mail to contact Tesla’s CFO on August 3 to try and obtain confidential details regarding the EV manufacturer’s financial projections.
According to the lawsuit, the e-mail sent from email@example.com to Tesla’s CFO Jason Wheeler contained this message:
“why you so cautious w Q3/4 gm guidance on call? also what are your thoughts on disclosing M3 res#? Pros/cons from ir pov? what is your best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables. honest guess? no bs. thx 4 hard work prepping 4 today”
As you would imagine, Todd Katz, chief financial officer of Seattle-based Quest Integrity Group, did not receive any sort of details from Jason Wheeler about Tesla’s financial projections. Not only was the e-mail address itself a dead giveaway, but also the way how the message was written was an obvious clue that something fishy was going on.
Besides Katz, the complaint also mentions there are up to 10 other people involved in the failed scam. Tesla now wants both financial compensation for the alleged actions and reimbursement for all of the costs incurred during the investigation. In addition, the Palo Alto-based EV marque is seeking reimbursement for the legal fees related to the lawsuit.
It’s unclear at this point how Tesla was able to find out it was Katz who sent the e-mail, but the complaint says he created the account in Elon Musk’s name. Interestingly, the address itself is similar to one of the e-mail accounts the Tesla boss has used in the past.
You can read all of the lawsuit details at the source link below.