Tesla sues oil executive for bad Elon Musk impersonation

Attempting to obtain insider information rather than providing the entertainment at birthday parties....

Tesla sues oil executive for bad Elon Musk impersonation

Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk | Photo: PA Images

The best way to trick Tesla into giving you sensitive information about the company?

Probably not by signing up for an "elontesla@yahoo.com" email account in a lazy bid to pass yourself off as their famous founder, if a pending court case is anything to go by.

Tesla is suing an executive of an oil pipeline services company for allegedly attempting to impersonate Musk via email.

The company is claiming that Todd Katz, the chief financial officer of Quest Integrity Group, was intending to gain non-public financial information following its latest earnings announcement.

Forbes has reported that the complaint was filed on Wednesday in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County and that Tesla is seeking unspecified financial compensation. Quest Integrity is a Seattle company that provides services for the likes of BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil.

The mail sent to Tesla's chief financial officer Jason Wheeler from "elontesla@yahoo.com" (apparently similar to one Musk actually used himself in the past) on August 3rd 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


After Wheeler flagged the suspicious mail, a company review determined that Katz was behind it, the suit states.

The complaint also accuses 10 other unnamed individuals of being involved.

John Hueston, of the Hueston Hennigan LLP firm representing Tesla, told Forbes:

“The point of this action is that this was perceived as an effort to gain inside information, non-public information.

"Although it was caught here, Tesla is worried about this happening in some other form. This could have resulted in highly valuable information being improperly disclosed.”