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Former Tesla employee charged in $9.3 million fraud

Wednesday 14th November, 2018

A federal grand jury in California has issued an indictment against a former buyer at Tesla’s Global Supply Management group, after he allegedly stole approximately $9.3 million.

According to the indictment, during 2016 and 2017 Salil Parulekar orchestrated the fraud at Tesla. He was responsible for overseeing Tesla’s relationship with certain suppliers for various parts and services related to Tesla automobiles. He allegedly used his position to divert money owed to one Tesla supplier and caused it to be paid to another supplier.

An indictment claims, in January 2017 Tesla had terminated its supplier relationship with Schwabische Huttenwerke Automotive GmbH (“SHW”). Knowing this Parulekar redirected a series of payments intended for another supplier, Hota Industrial Manufacturing Co Ltd and paid them to SHW.

He allegedly diverted payments using fake invoices and creating fraudulent accounts payable documents, such as bank account information. He impersonated a Hota employee and deceived Tesla’s Accounts Payable division into switching the bank account information for Hota and SHW.

Parulekar was charged with nine counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft and could potentially face a 180-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Parulekar’s alleged crimes emerged after an FBI investigation.