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EV startup Canoo's mysterious backers named in new harassment lawsuit

[2019.10.08, Tue 22:05] Electric vehicle startup Canoo and its CEO Stefan Krause have been accused of discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and wrongful termination in a new lawsuit. The lawsuit helps explain why Stefan Krause recently "Stepped away" from his role as CEO in August, as The Verge previously reported, before Canoo unveiled its first vehicle in Los Angeles on September 24th. A spokesperson for Canoo declined to comment on "Ongoing litigation." Stefan Krause, who in the past served as CFO of both BMW and Deutsche Bank, pitched Stern and Li on the idea of funding an EV startup during a meeting in Hong Kong in October 2017, according to the complaint - the same month Stefan Krause resigned from his post as CFO of struggling EV startup Faraday Future. Following the meeting, Stefan Krause, Stern, and Li "Entered into a gentlemen's agreement to start an electric vehicle company," according to the complaint, with Li and Stern "Provid[ing] the necessary startup capital." One investor works with Prince Andrew's startup accelerator; the other has ties to China's communist party The lawsuit does not mention how much money Stern and Li gave to the startup, but it does state that Stefan Krause and fellow Faraday Future defector Ulrich Kranz took annual salaries of $720,000 and were each granted 2.5 million shares of stock in the company. Christina Krause says in the lawsuit that she found out that weekend that her husband was cheating on her. Canoo then opened an internal investigation into Christina Krause in late July and, according to the complaint, hired a private investigator "For the purpose of following and documenting Plaintiff in conducting her private life, off of Canoo property and during non-work hours." Christina Krause says she was fired on July 31st and that she was granted a "Right-to-sue" letter from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing on September 12th. "As the personal fiefdom of Defendant Stefan Krause, Defendant Canoo terminated Plaintiff Christina Krause as an extension of Defendant Krause's estrangement from and infidelity to his wife of seven years," her lawyers write in the introduction to the complaint.
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