Former Tesla Motors Australia director pleads guilty to insider trading

Former Tesla Motors Australia Pty Ltd (Tesla Australia) director Kurt Schlosser, of Sydney, New South Wales, has pleaded guilty at the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court to two counts of insider trading.

On 16 September 2020, Mr. Schlosser acquired 86,478 shares in the mining company Piedmont Lithium Limited after being informed, in his role as country director of Tesla Australia, of inside information regarding an in-principle agreement that Tesla Australia’s ultimate holding company, Tesla Inc, had reached with Piedmont for the supply of lithium.

After information about the agreement became public and Piedmont’s share price rose, Mr. Schlosser sold his Piedmont shares for a net profit of $28,883.53.

Mr. Schlosser also communicated the inside information about the Piedmont/Tesla Inc in-principle agreement to a friend on 16 September 2020, knowing that his friend would be likely to acquire Piedmont shares.

Mr. Schlosser pleaded guilty on 15 November 2022 to one count of trading while in possession of inside information and one count of communicating inside information to an associate in breach of s1043A of the Corporations Act.

Mr. Schlosser has been committed to the Sydney District Court where he will appear on 16 December 2022 for a sentencing date to be fixed.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

At the time of the offending, each breach of s1043A of the Corporations Act carried a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

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