Quest Integrity Group has announced it will conduct an internal investigation to find out whether its chief financial officer was indeed the man behind the e-mail sent to Elon Musk.
As a refresher, Todd Katz is being accused of impersonating Elon Musk in an e-mail sent on August 3 to Tesla’s CFO Jason Wheeler in an attempt to find out private information about the financial projections. According to the complaint registered in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County earlier this week, the chief financial officer of the Seattle-based oil pipeline engineering and inspection firm used the address “firstname.lastname@example.org” in the e-mail sent to Tesla’s CFO.
Now, Quest Integrity Group says it’s running an internal investigation as a response to the accusations made by Tesla. The company’s general counsel, Butch Bouchard, describes the allegations of an oil industry conspiracy against Tesla and other alternative energy companies as being “absurd.”
"However, it is clear that unsubstantiated allegations of an alleged conspiracy among Quest Integrity, Team Industrial Services or our major oil company clients are absurd."
Tesla has not issued an official response to Butch Bouchard’s statement, but in the complaint it referred to the alleged phony e-mail signed “em” as being a method to undermine the efforts that are being made by companies responsible with alternatively-powered transportation.
It does seem a bit dubious that Quest Integrity Group’s CFO himself sent out the e-mail, but Tesla mentioned in the complaint that it was him who created the account in Elon Musk’s name. The Palo Alto-based marque has not specified how it was able to determine that Todd Katz did in fact try to impersonate Tesla’s boss.
The electric car manufacturer is now seeking reimbursement not just for the legal fees, but also for the costs it has incurred during the investigation to figure out the person behind the following e-mail:
"why you so cautious w Q3/4 gm guidance on call? also what are your thoughts on disclosing M3 res#? Pros/cons from ir pov? what is your best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables. honest guess? no bs. thx 4 hard work prepping 4 today."
It remains to be seen how the conflict between the two parties will pan out, but it's probably going to be a lengthy and costly legal battle.