A former Tesla employee has been charged by a federal grand jury for allegedly embezzling $9.3 million from the electric car manufacturer.
Gizmodo reports that a former Tesla employee, 32-year-old Salil Parulekar, has been charged by a federal grand jury of embezzling roughly $9.3 million from Tesla. It appears that the indictment has come as a result of an FBI investigation into Tesla.
Parulekar has been charged with taking part in a scheme which involved diverting company payments, falsifying invoices, the impersonation of an employee working at one of Tesla’s suppliers and identity theft. Details of these charges come from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California who said in a statement:
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 the termination, SHW had only provided a limited number of sample products, specifically, motor pumps, to Tesla. Parulekar allegedly knew the termination meant that Tesla was withholding future payments to SHW and that Parulekar was not authorized to contravene this decision. Notwithstanding these facts, Parulekar redirected a series of payments intended for another supplier, Hota Industrial Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (“Hota”), and caused them to be paid to SHW.
The former Tesla employee is being charged with nine counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft with each count of wire fraud carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine according to the Department of Justice. Parulekar could also be facing up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge of aggravated identity theft.
This case is not related to the ongoing FBI investigation of Tesla, which focuses on determining if the company’s production figures were fraudulently manipulated.
Tesla has so far declined to comment on the case.