Ex-Tesla Australia boss admits to insider trading

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The former head of Tesla Inc.’s Australian operations, Kurt Schlosser, admitted to insider trading after learning that the US electric carmaker had struck a supply deal with a publicly traded lithium producer, Australia’s securities regulator said.

Schlosser bought 86,478 shares in Piedmont Lithium Ltd. on Sept. 16., 2020 after becoming aware that Tesla had reached an agreement with the mining company, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission said Wednesday. After the information was made public, Schlosser sold his Piedmont shares for a profit of A$28,883.53 ($19,500), ASIC said.

Schlosser also told a friend about the deal before it was announced, knowing that the individual would probably buy Piedmont stock, according to ASIC. Schlosser pleaded guilty at a Sydney court on Nov. 15 to two counts of insider trading, the regulator said.

Schlosser is yet to be sentenced. An insider-trading offense carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, ASIC said.

(By Angus Whitley)

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