Diver who helped with cave rescue sues Elon Musk

British caver Vernon Unsworth gets out of a pickup truck

Tesla is also under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission - a probe into practices and communications which began before Musk publicly considered taking Tesla private, Bloomberg reported.

Department investigators requested documents from the company last month related to Musk's announcement and the company has complied, Tesla spokesman Dave Arnold said. The announcement raised the stock price 11 per cent in one day, but it has since fallen. Musk has since said he plans to keep the company public but the potential market manipulation already took place.

Tesla's stock, which has lost about 25 percent since its gains on August 7 after Musk tweeted about going private, fell 4.8 percent to $280.79 on Tuesday.

A British diver who helped rescue a youth football team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand earlier this year has sued Elon Musk, alleging that the Tesla CEO falsely accused him of being a pedophile and child rapist.

Tesla's shares rose after his tweet, but investors in the company's bonds and convertible debt were sceptical that the tens of billions of dollars needed for the buyout would materialize.

British caver Vernon Unsworth looks to Tham Luang cave complex
Elon Musk Sued by Diver in Thailand Cave Rescue

Tesla said it was confident the matter would be quickly resolved with the Justice Department. Those fortunes were more than reversed Tuesday with a sharp drop-off of more than 4 percent.

Bloomberg reported the DoJ has opened a criminal inquiry into statements Musk made about plans to take the troubled vehicle company private. "Given the feedback I've received, it's apparent that most of Tesla's existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company", he wrote on August 24.

The Telsa CEO and the company are now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for those claims. Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the US attorney's office also declined to comment at this time.

Critics said such conversations were a long way from having "funding secured" for taking the company private at a stock price significantly higher than where it was trading.

Musk later said he abandoned the effort three weeks after his initial tweet. The criminal probe goes along with the investigation conducted by the SEC. Since then, Tesla has focused itself on its original Q3 2018 targets - that is, the continued production ramp of the Model 3 and the company's aim to become profitable.

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