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Tesla faces criminal probe over CEO Musk's statements - Bloomberg

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By Reuters
Tesla faces criminal probe over CEO Musk's statements - Bloomberg
FILE PHOTO: A row of new Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles is seen at a parking lot in Richmond, California, U.S., June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo   -   Copyright  Stephen Lam(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over public statements made by the company and its Chief Executive Elon Musk, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while DoJ declined to comment.

Federal prosecutors opened a fraud investigation over Musk’s tweets in early August that he was contemplating taking Tesla private and had “funding secured” for the deal, the report said.

Musk stunned investors last month with tweets saying he wanted to take the electric car company private in a buyout valued at $72 billion (54.70 billion pounds), before backing off.

The billionaire’ s behaviour has raised concerns about his corporate leadership, with several Wall Street analysts and some investors urging Tesla to appoint a strong second-in-command. Musk has admitted to severe stress from running Tesla.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has already opened an inquiry into Musk’s tweets.

Shares of the company fell 6.2 percent to $276.

(Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)