Tesla Inc. claims that a hedge fund, Cable Car Capital LLC, which cuts the company’s shares, is financing charges that a former employee was defamed by the company for sabotaging and stealing confidential information.
The carmaker said Monday that Martin Tripp’s countersuit against firm in 2018 was funded by the cable car, although Tripp was sworn in to say he had no funding or connection to short sellers of Tesla.
The manager of the cable car portfolio, Jacob Ma-Weaver, did not give any comments. Short selling is selling borrowed shares, buying them back when they fall, and getting the difference.
On Tuesday, they convinced the judge to issue an emergency order prohibiting Tripp from further publishing confidential information. Tripp disclosed volumes of Tesla’s confidential documents, transcripts of testimony and archives in his Twitter, YouTube and Google Drive reports, Tesla said in federal court in Reno, Nevada.
“Tripp has no excuse,” Tesla said. “He is fully aware of his confidentiality obligations and is in open breach. And he has a willing source to pay any monetary penalties, as his fake counter libel suit against company is funded by a hedge fund, Cable Car Capital LLC, which is also a short seller of Tesla shares”.
Tesla sued Tripp, a former technician at a Nevada plant, on charges of stealing company trade secrets after he was denied a promotion. Tripp, in turn, filed his own lawsuit, accusing Tesla CEO Ilon Mask of defaming him. Most of the fight was over Twitter and strategic media leaks.
At first, Tripp said he wouldn’t delete the published information. Tesla said he deleted the link to the Google Disk folder on August 8, but by then the material had been saved by other users.
“We are clearly scared and disappointed with what happened,” said William Fishbach, one of Tripp’s attorneys, at a telephone hearing on Tuesday regarding Tesla’s emergency request.
Fishbach said Tripp is breaking up with his attorneys and intends to represent himself.
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