Tesla to close a dozen solar facilities

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"Tripp retaliated against Tesla by stealing confidential and trade secret information and disclosing it to third parties, and by making false statements meant to harm the company", the court documents alleged, adding that Mr Tripp admitted some of the accusations when confronted.

Tesla is now wholly refuting the claims made by an ex-employee and self-proclaimed whistleblower who previously leaked information to the press.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc's move last week to cut 9 per cent of its workforce will sharply downsize the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6 billion deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees. The firm's attorneys said Tripp worked at Tesla from October to last week, when company investigators confronted him with evidence.

The employee, Musk said, purportedly made unspecified code changes to the company's manufacturing operating system and sent sensitive Tesla data to unnamed third parties.

Tesla wants money damages and an order stopping Tripp from obtaining or disclosing information.

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"Tesla stores have some of the highest foot traffic of any retail space in the country, so this presents a unique benefit that is demonstrated by the growing number of Tesla vehicle customers who are also purchasing energy products through our stores", said a company spokesperson, per The Verge.

So in the brief time in which Tripp has been on Musk's radar as a potential threat, he's already facing a lawsuit from a multi-billion dollar company and accusations of being a potential mass-shooter. That's 9 percent of the workforce and the biggest job cut in.

But for Tesla, it's not just the plant that's going up in flames. "The data I was collecting was so severe, I had to go to the media", Tripp told CNNMoney.

Emails seen by Business Insider show Musk and former Tesla technician Martin Tripp had an explosive exchange this week, with Musk accusing his former employee of being a "horrible human being".

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Tripp denies accusations of sabotage and is claiming whistleblower status. "Don't worry, you have what's coming to you for the lies you have told to the public and investors", Tripp wrote.

So, who is Martin Tripp and what did he do to piss off Musk?

Tesla did not comment on which sites it planned to close down or how many of their employees would lose their jobs.

TeslaThe fire did not affect vehicle production, a Tesla representative said.

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