In another crazy chapter of the “conspiracy” against Tesla, as the real Elon Musk often likes to frame it, the company has filed a lawsuit against an oil industry executive, accusing him of creating a fake Yahoo email address to impersonate Elon Musk and acquire confidential information from Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer.
As reported by Forbes, the lawsuit filed on Wednesday alleges that Todd Katz, the chief financial officer for Quest Integrity Group, created the fake email address “email@example.com” and posed as Tesla CEO Elon Musk requesting confidential information. Quest Integrity “provides pipeline services and other management solutions for the oil and gas industry,” according to the suit.
Here’s the full email sent to Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler from firstname.lastname@example.org:
“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
I’m now deeply curious why whoever wrote this is convinced that is how Elon Musk communicates via email.
The fake address is apparently similar to an address once used by the real CEO, which makes me worry that real people may have to deal with the real Elon Musk’s horrible email etiquette.
Seeing as Tesla’s most knowledgeable and vocal spokesperson is Musk himself, and that he likely is already well versed in the information requested in the email, it is easy to imagine that Jason Wheeler—who had reported on Tesla’s earnings and projections that very day—likely knew immediately that he had received an email from somebody illegitimate.
I’m guessing the “thx 4 hard work” is probably what gave it away.
Tesla claims that it investigated the source of the email and discovered Todd Katz and ten other unnamed people were involved in the conspiracy, but it’s unclear how it came to those conclusions.
Tesla is seeking compensation for its investigation, legal fees, and other undisclosed financial damages. You can read through the full suit as filed to the Superior Court of the State of California on Forbes’ website.