Former Tesla Australia Executive Sentenced For Insider Trading

Kurt Schlosser, former head of Tesla’s Australian operations, has been disqualified from managing a corporation for five years after pleading guilty to two insider trading offenses. The charges elated to purchasing 86,478 shares in a lithium company after learning of a pending deal between the company and Tesla.

NSW District Court Judge Deborah Payne sentenced Schlosser two and a half years in prison, but was sparred from having to serve jail time. The judge explained her decision citing Schlosser’s guilty plea, remorse, good character, agreement to pay a penalty, and view that he was unlikely to reoffend. Schlosser also forfeited the $28,883 he made from the sale of the shares.

“ASIC is committed to acting against conduct that damages the integrity of Australia’s financial markets. Insider trading undermines investor confidence and gives individuals an unfair advantage. This criminal outcome demonstrates the serious consequences for trading when in possession of inside information,” said ASIC Deputy Chairwoman Sarah Court. (via Financial Review)

The deal in question was one between Tesla and Piedmont Lithium in September 2020 in which the automaker would be supplied lithium for a period of five years. Piedmont Lithium later said in August 2021 it would be unable to deliver its first planned shipment of lithium to Tesla as the company’s mine in North Carolina was not yet operational.

While the date of the first delivery was delayed the two companies have amended their contract. Piedmont will now deliver 125,000 metric tons of lithium from 2023 to 2025, with an option to extend the agreement for another three years.

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