Alleged Tesla Saboteur Opens $500,000 GoFundMe For Legal Expenses


Alleged saboteur/whistleblower Martin Tripp has been talking about the need for a lawyer to go to bat against Tesla and Elon Musk. Now, he’s taking the first step.

After Tesla sued Tripp for reportedly hacking its Manufacturing Operating System, sending confidential data to outside sources, and feeding the media false statements, Tripp came forward saying he was acting as a whistleblower.

He also made it clear that he doesn’t have the resources to secure a good lawyer. This week, in an attempt to solve the financial side of the situation, the Gigafactory ex-employee started a GoFundMe page to raise a half million dollars for legal fees, travel, and a potential countersuit.

The GoFundMe page went live on June 28, 2018. It currently shows a running total of $5,281 raised. Unless Tripp gets some major players on board or a significant number of supporters, it’s going to take some time to reach his goal. To be honest, there’s a good possibility Tripp will not be able to secure the full amount. However, we have no way of knowing what type of support this may receive.

There is a large group of people that run an ongoing, anti-Tesla campaign, which is comprised primarily of short-sellers and those promoting oil and gas cars, as well as the traditional automotive dealership model, among other related advocacy. In addition, there are simply folks that want to assure that both sides get a fair say and have sufficient representation so that justice will be served one way or the other.

Below is the GoFundMe campaign description in its entirety:

Tripp vs Tesla: Help fund the fight

My name is Martin Tripp and I am asking for your help!

I’m originally from a small town in Northern Michigan, served four years in the US Navy, worked many electronics jobs and finally accepting Tesla’s mission to “Accelerate the World’s transition to sustainable energy”…that was short lived.

I am raising these funds for myself, to support counsel for this lawsuit as well as a countersuit.

6/19/18 I was fired by Tesla for providing disturbing information to the media in regards to what I (and many others) believe to be extremely excessive amounts of scrap/waste material, unsafe batteries/modules, inconsistencies in how scrap/materials are reported internally, and inconsistencies in numbers of cars produced as told by Elon Musk to investors and the general public. Also, the amount of waste battery material not being recycled!

6/20/18 I woke up to this huge lawsuit.

Tesla and Elon are much more powerful than I could ever be. They have already intimidated me, belittled, and lied about me. They have defamed me, and continue to tell complete fabricated lies about me. They have gone so far as to lie about me threatening the Gigafactory as well.

For all of this, I want Tesla, and even more specifically Elon to pay; not only for what they have done to me, but for what they are doing to the world.

I am an ordinary American. I don’t have much money, and they are trying to take what little I have away and leave us with nothing. I cannot, and will not, let that happen.

Please help us fight this machine!

The funds you provide will go towards my legal counsel/other legal support, as well as cover any travels that I need to make. The minimum legal counsel retainer is around $50,000. Final costs could be upwards in the $4-500,000 range.

The funds will initially be spent to pay for the retainer fee for my immediate counsel. Then withdrawn as needed to pay their additional fees. There are some separate attorney’s fees that I will need to pay as well, that I cannot immediately get into, but will update asap when I am able to.

My plan is to pull the funds only as needed, and pay the attorneys directly. For times that I must travel, I will need to use some funds. Most likely this will not be necessary, but I would rather play it safe. Again, I can go into more detail with updates as the time draws closer.

This support means everything. It will make the difference in whether I have a chance in the fight against this machine.

My Family and I would be beyond grateful for the help and support you might be able to give. It will be an honor to stand up to this, with your support against my back!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and please make a donation to help!

Source: Teslarati, GoFundMe

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

83 Comments on "Alleged Tesla Saboteur Opens $500,000 GoFundMe For Legal Expenses"

newest oldest most voted

So basically he did this, because he saw himself as eco-justice-warrior. I have to wonder how many such delusional people work at Tesla.

You mean, besides the CEO? Birds of a feather, those two.

Well played my Good Man!! (How’re those short positions working out for yah?)

Sorry dude, i put a SELL limit order of $1500 on my TSLA shares….

Haha, you are such of Troll, don’t hate successful people, you can be one your next life.

Seven…still only 7 (Electrics)? No Electric Longboards, Electric Rollerblades? Electric Airplanes? Just curiuous when you will be expanding your fleet (not with Tesla’s, I guess)?

Does have 7 dollies tho’ :: ;?)

If Musk is EJW, he wouldn’t start Tesla in the first place, because any manufacturing process involve some waste. And when ramping up as quick as they are trying, they will pile on more waste at least for short term. Musk isn’t delusional as to think ramp up will be clean. My question is how many in the company have farting unicorn delusions instead of recognizing the reality.

Eco warrior in action, and she drives Kia Niro.

Good luck buddy. This story of the saboteur is so last week already. Just move to Russia. That’s where I hear the leakers go.

Freedom of speech was western concept last time I checked.

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Okay, this is a pet peeve of mine.

The First Amendment does not guarantee your right to speech without criticism. It guarantees your right to speech without government censorship. So, unless Dav8or is a government official, there is no First Amendment issue.

Free Speech , Not Slander…

I believe in Freedom of Speech. I just find it incredible that are President uses that Freedom to tell lies,

So the President has to be mentioned because you have nothing else useful to say otherwise.

Got it !

If so, he is not the only public figure, politician, etc., like that, for sure! Nor the only US President!

Remember that he used Bankruptcy to leverage debt into wealth repeatedly. Had a habit of sending a flood of lawyers to find way to not honor contracts, and generally bullied those who didn’t have means of equal defense.

So this game is nothing new to him.

Doesn’t make him a communist though, my pet pieve

I was not suggesting this guy move to Russia to silence him. More of a suggestion on how to avoid a lawsuit.

Avoiding a law suit is about as easy as it gets.

Collecting on one is what is truly difficult.

What is he actually claimed to have sabotaged? Tesla’s image?

It seems like from all the reports he didn’t do any damage to the physical factory or production rates. Just leaked info to the press.

It is claimed that he altered programming for production equipment that interfered with production rates.

I haven’t seen that claimed. They’re stretch claim is he altered production related system but I’ve never seen a reference claiming that affected production rates.

Maybe go back and read all the info you missed.

I believe Elon’s initial tweet suggested that there was alteration to manufacturing processes, but there is no mention of that in the lawsuit. He is charged with exporting gigabytes worth of confidential data and modifying some of that data to make Tesla appear to be lying to the public about safety and environmental issues.

“He is charged with exporting gigabytes worth of confidential data ”

In the form of video(s) which are data intensive; even a couple of minutes of high quality HD video can qualify as gigabytes worth.

That was not in the lawsuit. Read the Summary of Dispute in the lawsuit complaint.

I think that you and others are getting tripped up by the term “Manufacturing Operating System (MOS).”

Tesla’s claim is that Tripp wrote code and installed it on a computer system running MOS for the purpose of extracting data (mostly photos and videos).

This didn’t interfere with production rates — read the lawsuit complaint.

Tripp stated that he didn’t write code and doesn’t know how to write code. Who knows what the truth is, but Tripp’s claim is plausible since he was a technician.

The data stream was going somewhere. At the other end was somebody collecting that datastream. That somebody is just as likely to have written the code and given it to Tripp to inject into Tesla’s computer system as Tripp writing it.

“Tripp placed “hacking software” in the computers of three individual employees to routinely export confidential data, the company says.

Tesla says that Tripp has already admitted to hacking its manufacturing operating system, and the company accuses him of making false statements to the media about the stolen information. “

Hmmm, this would also be a great setup way to create a valid back ground story for completely funded high-end legal representation. We’ll see if this fund turns out to be unexpectedly popular. Some large anonymous donations maybe?

Short investors will pay the bills.

Or the Koch brothers through some of their front groups.

Koch brothers, Trump? I was waiting for this; how did it take so long? Lefties are usually quicker with conspiracy theories regarding those they hate.

Go back to Idaho you right-wing troll loser.

Ahhhh… Trump! Must be since he still believes that Fairy Tale he was sold, about “Good Clean Coal!” Is that the point of inflection this is going to move to?

And 99% of Trump supporters LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks

Trump and his supporters still think Obama was born in Kenya and is a Muslim. Trump and his supporters are pathetic losers.

Shorts will all be Broke , So Toss Him an Anchor Instead of a Life Jacket…

Shorts have their own bills to pay, I don’t think they’re generous to give money to this guy. There is no gain for them.

Oh, but if they believe he can prove all the dirt he is tossing, they could make a “Killing!” But they might need to save their money, for a “Money Call” next week, just in case! Maybe if they make it through next week, they can thank him!

This will be more useful than Tesla devotees sbuying a multi billionaire CEO with a jet and five mansions a couch.
Let the case proceed and truth be revealed. Let’s see if Elon is guilty of slander (claimign sabotage) and lying to investors about production and sales numbers.

Perhaps you should first address the lack of truth in your own comments, before writing concern troll posts about someone else’s.

Fox news will send him a check along with oil and natural gas executives. GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY GAS GUZZLERS AND DIESELS LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks

Hmmm a whistle blower who hasn’t blown a whistle of any note.

There are NO WHISTLES to Blow , Only Sabotage..

Oh, I don’t know. A few sour ones.

In his supposed defense, I just think he “Fell In With The Wrong Bunch”, after his time in the Navy, and had some “Issues!” 😱

4 years in the Navy is supposed to tell us he is (Was) Disciplined, Loyal, and Honest? Just 1 stint? Thats it? Navy let him go, or he realized he could not manage under a chain of command? Just wondering why that is part of his pitch, now?😳

I thought that lawyers in big cases like this would often work for free under the assumption that if they win they get a big paycheck. Perhaps it sounds like no lawyer wants to dare take this case after looking at the details?

Unless a lawyer is affiliated with the ACLU, or some legal defense fund, there is no “free” in a legal defense. Lawyers DO work on a contingency fee for personal injury or other cases where an award will be made against the other party.

This case does not appear to be the kind of case where a legitimate attorney would take on the gamble of a large award against Tesla. But one of the Kock Brothers or other such right wing or anti-environment funds might conceivably agree to do the case without compensation.

That’s an overstatement. Many lawyers do occasional “pro bono” work. The fact that nobody is rushing to defend this guy despite the relatively high profile may, or may not, be an indication that his claims are not well supported by actual evidence.

As in the movie line from “Law Abiding Citizen?” … “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove!”

And since he appears to have “Allegedly” given himself up to Tesla, admitting stuff they had dirt on him about, he seems not to be on top of his “Whistleblower” defense. He may have let his Ducks get Out of Order, for that angle! Stuff may come out, so…time will tell!

Yes, if Tripp had a strong counter-suit, a lawyer who was confident in the outcome could take it on contingency and have the legal fees come out of the proceeds of the counter-suit.

Assuming Tripp got his numbers for legal fees from actually going to consultations with one or more lawyers, it sounds like Tripp’s counter-suit isn’t strong enough for a lawyer to want to bet their own paycheck on it. That doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t have a valid counter-suit, just that no lawyer yet has been willing to take it on contingency yet.

But I’m not entirely certain he has consulted a lawyer yet. Or if Tripp has, he probably didn’t run this whole GoFundMe plan past the lawyer. I doubt any lawyer would green light what he wrote in his GoFundMe pitch.

What makes you think the case is big?

It made the news for a day or two and then almost nothing.

It’s big enough. Googling [Tesla “Martin Tripp”] yields “about 6,810 results” and about 3 full pages of headlines.

Plus, you yourself are commenting on a case you claim isn’t big. 😉

To be fair, I don’t think it’s necessarily the details. It’s that he ran his mouth to the media and made a lot of statements that can be used against him in a lawsuit. And he did all this before looking for a lawyer (he’s only doing so now). So even if you entertain the idea overall what he said was true, the cards are stacked against him.

Just from looking at news, I think most people know not to carelessly make statements to the media, but obviously he didn’t get the memo.

Via suit:

“Tesla has only begun to understand the full scope of Tripp’s illegal activity, but he
has thus far admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system
(“MOS”) and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities. This includes dozens
of confidential photographs and a video of Tesla’s manufacturing systems. “

A strange aspect is that Tesla claims that Tripp admitted to writing software, while Tripp claims he didn’t write software and doesn’t even know how to write software. Tripp claims that he just did a database query to acquire data.
This was in articles when the news broke — or the day after.

So apparently there is not even an agreement on what Tripp admitted to.

It would be interesting to know what he did in the Navy, or at his previous job in Milwaukee.

Maybe Scott Pruitt will throw him some OIL MONEY

Putting completely aside everything between Tripp and Tesla, if I saw this line in ANY GoFundMe pitch, I would laugh and run for the hills:

“There are some separate attorney’s fees that I will need to pay as well, that I cannot immediately get into”


He’s probably has an eviction case to.

Grow(some)Funds(4)Me, to this Whistleblowers sweet little tune of, a paltry “Half A Million Bucks”!

Some Lawyers are going to have their work cut out for them, on this feeding frenzy of pending litigation!

Maybe he thinks that’s a clever way to get paid for his shenanigans at Tesla but, I’m sure all big donors will be scrutinized by Tesla lawyers.

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

Cue the onslaught of the Jim Chanos slush fund GFM Money Trail, right into the discovery phase, of this upcoming incessantly litigious Whistleblower trial!

I finally watched 22 minutes of Jim Chanos, YouTube, on a Shorter Seminar!

If People paid Money for his disjointed soup kitchen of screen grabs, and little to no meat to realy say he knows his stuff, I feel sorry for them, and his idea that Tesla is Whipped…in 3 Months…No…6 Months….well…maybe a Year or Two, or 3, or 4!

He was comfortable stating only a Handful of $35,000 Model 3’s will EVER Get Delivered, and then only for show! Maybe Tripp should buddy up with him? 😌

If anyone finds themselves being sued, here is what NOT to say in public:

1) Don’t make any claims that could be used to impeach your testimony, such as stating that the party suing you “lie[d] about me threatening the Gigafactory”. You will get asked about it in court, and then witness(es) who heard your alleged threats will be called to contest a statement like this. If the Judge and/or jury determine this is a false claim, they are allowed by law to determine you have impeached your testimony, and discard the entirety of your testimony. Every single word.

2) Don’t make statements that display animosity against the party suing you, because that can be used to argue you are showing the motivation and intent for the underlying allegations. Statements like “Please help us fight this machine!” and “I want Tesla, and even more specifically Elon to pay”.

If in doubt, say nothing in public until you can retain a lawyer, then let the lawyer do the talking or direct your statements, Avenatti style.

Yup. Mr. Tripp just made it harder for himself and for any lawyer who takes his case, whether that lawyer gets paid or not.

Well, at least he is getting attention… Which seems to be what this guy is after?

“…for what they are doing to the world.”
Ok. So Tesla is doing very bad for the world…Seriously? Or,most probably, we know what sort of people this guy is and this weight the doubts about what were his true intentions when he entered at Tesla, or commended by who….

The amount of scrap should be no concern to you, this is not illegal. If you did sabotage, then you deserve to be in trouble

Seeing Large Amounts of “Scrap”, as he self Identifies it, CAN be Annoying, but unless one can say such losses are cutting into his own pay, it seems he Wayyyy Overstepped his Bounds of Authority, in bringing such imaginative arguments to the press, let alone the methods suggested to share internal documents or data!

And…the World…! Self Serving Motivation, Tripp?

If I was Elon Musk, I would pay the man’s legal fees just to make sure he gets a fair trial. Sad to say; but, the American Legal System, especially the Civil Courts, is too expensive for those other than the wealthy. Many lawyers have fees in excess of $1,000 an hour which makes JUSTICE an expensive pursuit.

I will give him $500,000 provided he reveals how much money is paid to him by Big Oil, Dirtymobile automakers, Shorts to do the sabotage.

Is GoFundMe the same organization behind the people with the cardboard signs on the freeway exits?

I am sure chanos and company will contribute money to go fund me fund.

His lawyer fees will be $10,000 maybe $20k. He has already got about $6,500. Anything over $20k goes straight in his pocket. I think he’s expecting to get rich by this.

Don’t think he is “getting rich”; rather, hoping to cover some of the damages he will be ordered to pay…

OTOH, the way he is running this campaign might actually increase the damages I guess?…

IF his countersuit claim had any merit there would be law firms lining up to work on a contingency basis not asking for $50k down and estimates of $300k-$400k.

The man is a Turncoat and should be treated as such.

“I was fired by Tesla for providing disturbing information to the media.”

So he’s confessed to the theft of information. He should probably have consulted an attorney before admitting to the theft.

As for the claim he was a “whistleblower” that only applies to revealing illegal activities which not even the admitted perpetrator of the data theft claims is the case.

So it’s just a simple data theft case.

The reality is that Tripp only needs a few thousand dollars for lawyer fees for this case. Tesla doesn’t want Tripp, they want whoever was on the other end of the outgoing datastream who might be using Tripp for corporate espionage. If this is espionage, Tesla could collect a quarter of a Billion from a company on the other side, the way Waymo collected $245M from Uber recently for that corporate espionage case.

A good lawyer goes in and negotiates a deal to settle the lawsuit in exchange for Tripp submitting to a sworn deposition where he admits to everything done, and gives up who was at the other end of the outgoing datastream. The agreement would include Tripp agreeing to fully cooperate and testify in all civil and criminal cases (with a large $$$ penalty if he did not). In exchange, Tesla would agree to drop all civil charges, and to ask the State of Nevada to drop any criminal charges they may be working on.

BIG opportunity for those little Telsa haters and Musk haters to do some good for the world ??
GIVE this fund some of your hard earned and — HEY!!!! — put your money where your mouth is…..!!@