Electric car startup Faraday Future is closing out 2017 in a very precarious position, something The Verge captures in a spellbinding story today on the company’s financial state. One of the new bits uncovered by the outlet is that Faraday’s main financier, Jia Yueting, is suing a software developer who accuses Jia of creating a $75 million trust fund for his kids with Faraday’s money.
The situation dates to October, when Jia filed a libel lawsuit against Gu Yingqiong, a software developer who lives in Washington. As the Verge reports, Gu has levied numerous accusations against Jia, including some critiques of Jia’s California mansions (which Jalopnik revealed last month) and allegations that he used the properties to launder money.
But Gu took it a step further, Verge reports, and that caused a stir with Jia.
He compares YT to Bernie Madoff, calling Faraday Future and the money surrounding it a “Ponzi scheme.” He also claims in another post that YT is applying for a green card through the EB1C program to avoid returning to China.
The posts were also publicly denounced by YT. One of Gu’s posts in particular apparently sparked YT’s legal action. On September 14th, Gu posted what he claims to be a draft copy of a $75 million trust fund that YT set up for his children, and alleged that the money was taken from Faraday Future’s coffers. A day later, the website Sina.com interviewed Gu about the post, according to a copy of the interview included in the lawsuit. “If they think this document is false, they can sue me in court,” Gu said. YT’s filed suit less than one month later, and in the initial complaint, his lawyers call Gu’s behavior “a continuous and systematic effort by an individual to intimidate, harass, and defame a stranger over the internet.”
Jia initially filed suit in California in October, according to Chinese media reports, but the case was dismissed due to a procedural issue. A few days later, he filed for a temporary injunction in Washington along with a libel lawsuit, the reports say.
Jia denied the allegations and claimed that Gu sought a settlement for $1 million, but said he wouldn’t give him “a penny.”
Head over to The Verge for the entire piece. In the coming weeks, Faraday says it’s going to be at the CES Conference in Vegas. This just reemphasized what I’ve been thinking for weeks: what is it coming with?