Electric automaker Aptera has had a very tough week, starting with news of a boardroom showdown last weekend over money troubles – which were then walked back a bit. During the week, we've been hearing that the problems run deeper than we expected, and Karen Pease from Gas 2.0 believes she has put more pieces of the tale together.
First, it's important to know about Laura Marion, who is CFO at Aptera, but she also worked at Delphi, where she was cited by the SEC (PDF) for massive accounting fraud and ended up paying a $40,000 fine. Marion came to Aptera with Paul Wilbur, now Aptera's CEO, who had previously worked at ASC and Saleen (pretty much as those companies were going bankrupt). Wilbur was behind the firings last week, and the Gas 2.0 writeup (a must read) cites an anonymous employee who was liveblogging the recent firings saying that, "Paul Wilbur has just sacrificed the company to line his own pockets. Crap, I'm crying. [...] Seems to think suspending operations til govt$$ come in will make him a rich man. So sad for [Aptera founder] Steve Fambro, he's a great guy being ruined."
We asked Wilbur for a statement, and he sent AutoblogGreen a replying saying:
We have assembled a world-class team that has the full support of our board. We and our board are confident that we have the people and resources needed to bring the most innovative electric vehicle to market as soon as possible.
This story is not over, not by a long shot.