Alex Khaitov, Senior Software Quality Assurance Engineer, started his job at Tesla on December 28, 2020 and began to download sensitive files almost, according to Tesla.
Tesla said in a lawsuit filed Friday in the San Jose Division of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California that, within three days of Tesla being hired, Defender had brazenly stolen thousands of business secret programming scripts that Tesla had spent years producing.
Tesla sues Khaitov and accuses him, along with the violation of his contract, of theft of trade secrets and confidential information. Khatilov was dismissed after internal investigators detected the transfer of data, according to Tesla. Alex Khatilov denies the allegations.
Khatilov was accused of stealing Telsa trade secret thefts as the newest guy in Silicon Valley. In 2019, former Zoox Tesla employees were sued.
Tesla sued a defendant, Rivian, in March 2020, alleging that its staff had stole commercial secrets. And according to a December court filing, Martin Tripp, a former technician of the Tesla process, was scheduled to pay the company $400,000 for revealing commercial secrets.
According to Tesla, only about 40 people in the Khatilov quality assurance team had access to the trade secrets he was charged with stealing. The company reported that only 8 engineers were able to grant file access.
Khatilov’s downloads were identified by the company on January 6. According to Tesla he only moved “a couple personal administrative documents,” to Khatilov gave the company investigators access to his Dropbox.
Tesla stated its researchers noticed his account on Dropbox. They found his “claims were outright lies,” claiming that Tesla’s computer scripts were moving to his personal Dropbox “thousands and thousands”. Khatilov said that he had “forgot” the files by telling the investigators that it was “almost certainly another lie.”
Khatilov spoke to the New York Post on Friday saying, “I’ve been working for, like, 20 years in this industry, and I know what sensitive documents are about, and I never, ever tried to access any of those, or steal it.”
The Post told Khatilov that their reporter had heard about the lawsuit. An interview request from Insider was not returned immediately on Saturday to Khatilov’s personal e-mail address.
In their filing, Tesla told Khatilov to remove files from the Dropbox account that he could see. But the company could not be certain that the engineer had not moved them somewhere else already.
The company confirmed that investigators had to remotely interview Khatilov regarding COVID-19, so that he could not “guarantee the absolute removal of his equipment”. A jury trial and damages are expected from the company.