A former Tesla Motors engineer has been charged in federal court with felony computer intrusion for allegedly accessing his manager's email account, sharing employee evaluations with others and posting confidential information on the Web.
Nima Kalbasi, a 28-year-old Canadian, then "tried to harm Tesla's reputation and credibility by making false and misleading comments," the FBI said in a statement on Thursday.
Kalbasi, who had worked as a mechanical engineer for the electric vehicle maker, which is based in Palo Alto, California, was arrested in Vermont on Aug. 24. He appeared in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, on Aug. 27, the FBI said.
A lawyer for Kalbasi declined comment.
If convicted, Kalbasi faces a maximum of five years in prison for two felony counts of computer intrusion and one year for a count of misdemeanor computer intrusion.
Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment.