The company has coordinated in reacting to what it called an "voluntary request" for reports from the Department of Justice in September, a Tesla representative said. The agency has the ability to press criminal charges. Authorities are homing in on whether the company made projections about its Model 3 production knowing it would be impossible to meet the goals, people close to the situation say.
Musk had said as early as February of a year ago - months before Tesla started making the Model 3 - that the company planned to be manufacturing 5,000 of the vehicles a week by the fourth quarter of 2017, comments he echoed that July.
The company said it has not received a subpoena, a request for testimony or additional documents, or any other formal process from the Department of Justice.
Brandy Vandyke was born and raised in the busy city of Annapolis. The former employees reportedly received subpoenas earlier in the investigation and many of them are now being interviewed by the FBI.
The SEC in September charged Musk, 47, with misleading investors with tweets on August 7 that said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding.
Yet last week Elon Musk, Tesla's quixotic founder, got the better of critics when the company revealed a surprise $312m quarterly profit thanks to increased sales of its "electric vehicle for the masses", the Model 3.
He said that the Model 3 measures up well against BMW's 3 series and Volkswagen's Golf model, in terms of expected sales volume.
Such statements were fraudulent, according to the lawsuit, given that the automated assembly lines to build the auto in such volume were behind schedule.
Asked by a follower on Twitter when the Model 3 would actually start deliveries in Australia - in RHD guise - Elon Musk declared it would happen mid-2019. Under the terms of the settlement, Musk must step down as the chairman of Tesla's board of directors for three years and pay a $20 million fine.
Tesla shares surged 15%, or by $42.40, to $330.90 in the days following its surprise quarterly results.