Tesla is reportedly undergoing a "deepening criminal investigation" by the FBI into whether the company misled investors with respect to production of Model 3 vehicles, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper cited "people familiar with the matter," who said that federal prosecutors based in San Francisco have "intensified" their work in recent weeks. Neither the FBI nor the United States Attorneys Office in San Francisco immediately responded to Ars request for comment.
Kamran Mumtaz, a Tesla spokesman, sent Ars a statement, saying that earlier this year the company received a voluntary request for documents, which it complied with. "We have not received a formal subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process, and there have been no additional document requests about this from the Department of Justice for months," the statement said. "Teslas philosophy has always been set to truthful targets—not sandbagged targets that we would definitely exceed and not unrealistic targets that we would never meet."
Mumtaz did not immediately answer Ars question as to whether any Tesla official had been interviewed by federal investigators.
The WSJ also noted that in "recent weeks, FBI agents have contacted former Tesla employees asking them for testimony in the criminal case. The former employees received subpoenas earlier in the probe, and FBI agents have recently sought to interview a number of them, the people said." Earlier this month, the CEO signed a civil settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission stemming from his August 2018 "funding secured" tweet, indicating an investment deal to take the company private that was eventually scuttled.
This new report comes just two days after Tesla reported record profits.