Tesla Inc.’s former country director in Australia pleaded guilty in a Sydney court to two counts of insider trading, having bought shares in Belmont, N.C.-based Piedmont Lithium Inc. after finding out that it was agreeing to supply the electric-vehicle maker with the battery material, Australia’s corporate regulator said Wednesday.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said Kurt Schlosser acquired 86,478 shares in Piedmont
in September 2020 after being told of an in-principle agreement that Tesla
had reached with the lithium company for commodity supplies.
Schlosser, who also told a friend about the agreement, sold his shares in Piedmont for a net profit of about 28,884 Australian dollars (US$19,505) after the supply arrangement became public, the regulator said.
He pleaded guilty to one count of trading while in possession of inside information and one count of communicating inside information to an associate and will next appear in the Sydney District Court on Dec. 16, said the regulator.
Tesla and Piedmont didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Schlosser couldn’t be reached for comment.