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Tesla: Yes, We Gave Feds Documents They Wanted

As Bloomberg's sources say a DOJ criminal probe is underway
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2018 2:04 PM CDT
This Aug. 8, 2018, file photo shows a Tesla emblem on the back end of a Model S in the Tesla showroom in Santa Monica, Calif.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

(Newser) – It's only Tuesday, and it's already been a roller coaster week of ups and downs for Elon Musk. The latest dip: Tesla confirmed Tuesday that it has complied with a voluntary request from the Justice Department to hand over documents related to Musk's August comments about possibly taking the electric car company private. The AP quotes a Tesla statement saying it has not "received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process" and that it anticipates the matter should be put to bed quickly.

CNBC adds the request was made in August. That news followed a Tuesday morning report from Bloomberg, attributed to two sources, that the DOJ had launched a criminal fraud investigation in parallel with the already announced SEC investigation. Bloomberg described the probe as in its early stages. Morningstar analyst David Whiston had this to say to Reuters: "For now this just brings more overhang to the stock and a probe will probably take months." The AP notes Musk's tweets initially drove shares up 11%, leading short-sellers to allege that Musk improperly manipulated the stock price. Tesla stock remains down nearly 4% for the day on the news, at $283. (Read more Tesla stories.)

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