The ex-Tesla mechanical engineer, Nima Kalbasi, was arrested on the US-Canadian border earlier this year by the FBI after hacking Telsa Motors.
The FBI allege Kalbasi accessed the email account of his former boss 297 times between 16 December and 13 January after being fired from the company.
Using credentials that were not his, he accessed his boss’s corporate email, and downloaded employee evaluations, which he shared with former colleagues.
He is also charged with accessing a customer complaint and publishing it online, where he added his own derogatory comments about Tesla Motors.
The Washington Times reports the FBI said he “made disparaging comments concerning the alleged quality issues that he then and there well knew to be false and misleading, while intending to harm Tesla’s reputation and credibility.”
Kalbasi was fired on 3 December 2014, and was not authorized to access the Tesla email server for any reason after that date, according to the reports.
He was arrested on 24 August at Vermont, while trying to cross the border from Canada back into the US.
Kalbasi faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the felony charges and one year in prison for the misdemeanor, the FBI said.
The case mirrors that of former Tribune Co. employee Matthew Keys who will stand trial later this month on similar charges, The Washington Times reports.
Keys has been accused by the Justice Department of helping hackers breach the Los Angeles Times’ websites after being fired.
A Canadian has been arrested and charged with hacking his former employer, Tesla Motors, as well as with attempting to ruin the reputation of the company.