An internal investigation is ongoing at electrical vehicle maker Tesla over whether the company helped to fund a project that built Elon Musk, its billionaire CEO, a glass house near Austin, Texas.
The Wall Street Journal published a report this week about that internal investigation, which is looking into whether Musk initiated company misspending by having Tesla pay for glass purchases that totaled into the millions of dollars so he could build a house for himself.
If this proves to be true, it would certainly fly in the face of what Musk has tried to convey about his lifestyle publicly, which is that he’s a normal guy who spends a lot of time couch surfing.
The secret project in question, apparently referred to as Project 42 within Tesla, involved constructing a building with glass walls. There were renderings of a big glass box that included features of a residential building, such as a kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms.
Other renderings of the building show that there was to be a waterfall that would be built right into the surrounding landscape of the glass structure. It would also feature a futuristic-looking pickup truck that looked a lot like the Cybertruck that Tesla has in production.
The project was further described as being for a house that Musk would live in. It was located near Tesla’s headquarters in Austin.
The Wall Street Journal’s reporting cited a few different anonymous sources who were familiar with Project 42.
The report detailed that some people within Tesla became concerned that something was amiss when the company spent millions ordering specialized glass. Because these people didn’t know why the glass was being purchased, they started an internal investigation into whether there was any misuse of company resources, and whether Musk was involved in the situation.
The Journal reporting said that the results of the Tesla internal investigation “couldn’t be learned.” They further reported that it isn’t clear whether the ordered glass ever was delivered, and they aren’t sure what the status of Project 42 is.
Musk has consistently portrayed himself as a rather low-maintenance person, at least in terms of his living arrangements. Last year, he said that the main place where he lives is a home in south Texas that he rents from one of his other company’s, SpaceX, and is worth $50,000.
He put this in a tweet last year, saying it was “literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica (Texas).” He added that he only owns one house, and he uses it to host events in the San Francisco Bay area.
A few years ago, Musk sold a group of homes in California after he vowed he would “own no house.” He sold them for $130 million.
The Wall Street Journal, though, debunked those claims, reporting that Musk actually lives in a mansion that’s 8,000 square feet and is owned by Ken Howery, who is one of the co-founders of payment platform PayPal and is a close friend of Musk’s.