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Lawsuit Alleges Oil Exec Impersonated Elon Musk In Email To Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler In Bid To Attain “Highly Confidential & Proprietary Tesla Information”

Elon Musk

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the oil pipeline firm Quest Integrity Group, Todd Katz, is being sued by Tesla (TSLA) for his impersonation of Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an email sent to Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler, which was reportedly made in an attempt to “misappropriate highly confidential and proprietary Tesla information.”

The question took place on August 3, following the company’s posting of its Quarter 2 financial results.

Autoblog notes that the email account was (which probably raised a few red flags for Wheeler right away), the message read:

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

That’s almost over-the-top amateurish. “” Even using a account alone is a red flag. How could Katz think that that would work? Was he just having a laugh? The style of the email, unless Katz knows this is how Elon writes (seems unlikely) would be another big red flag.

Unsurprisingly, Wheeler didn’t take the bait. An investigation was then begun by Tesla into the email address, which led directly to Quest Integrity’s Todd Katz.

In addition to the above-quoted charges relating to the misappropriation of “highly confidential and proprietary Tesla information,” the new lawsuit filing reads: “Tesla is under constant attack from the oil industry. In recent years, oil companies have spent billions on legislative efforts and campaigns aimed at blocking progress toward electric cars and other sustainable energy solutions in the United States and abroad.”

Tesla has apparently had to investigate a number of other attempts to attain confidential material as well in recent times, possibly linked to Katz as well. This has led to the incursion of “costs, damages, and losses.”

You would think that, with all the money that the oil companies have, the attempts would be more professional. Wouldn’t you?

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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