Electric automaker Tesla has filed a lawsuit in a Nevada court against a former employee whom the company claims stole secret data from the company and made false claims to the media.
The complaint asserts the employee in question, process technician Martin Tripp, “hacked” confidential information and trade secrets and transferred that data to third parties.
Tripp has admitted to designing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system and to transferring “several gigabytes” of information, including photos and a video, to “outside entities,” according to the lawsuit.
Tripp, who began working for Tesla in October 2017, supposedly installed his hacking software on three other workers’ computers so the data would continue to be exported after he left the company.
Tesla also alleges that Tripp made “false claims to the media” regarding the stolen information.
A spokersperson for the company declined to comment on the lawsuit.
In an email to employees earlier this week, Musk reportedly said a worker had committed “extensive and damaging sabotage” to the automaker’s operations, which allegedly included exporting data to unidentified third parties and changing the code to a manufacturing operating system.
Musk said that the employee was passed over for a promotion and the lawsuit claims the activities in question were committed in retaliation.