Two anonymous sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg News that the investigation is running alongside a previously reported civil inquiry by securities regulators.
"A probe can go either way but finding Musk guilty may have serious negative repercussions to Tesla's stock price, which will badly hurt investors", Morningstar analyst David Whiston said.
Tesla shares dropped in the wake of Tuesday's news and were down almost 6 percent at 12:55 p.m. ET.
More bad news is piling up for Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of the electronic vehicle company Tesla. Those fortunes were more than reversed Tuesday with a sharp drop-off of more than 4 percent.
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"We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process", Tesla said in their company statement.
You can read every weird thing that has happened since Elon Musk sent his "funding secured" tweet about taking Tesla private here. They've now lost over 36% from the euphoria following the "funding secured" tweet, and are down 10% so far in 2018.
CNN has reached out for comment to the United States attorney's office in San Francisco, which is leading the probe, according to the Bloomberg report.
The Justice Department generally does not confirm or deny investigations, spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman in Washington said.
Word that McAnear was heading for the off-ramp followed chief accounting officer Dave Morton's departure after just a month on the job, citing the company's frenetic pace.
Diver Vernon Unsworth says Musk made the false allegation on Twitter and then repeated other falsehoods after the dramatic rescue of a dozen youth football players and their coach in July. The weeks following these announcements were incredibly volatile, as SEC investigations were reportedly begun, lawsuits were filed, and TSLA shares took a dive.
Musk is facing legal trouble because his "funding secured" tweet could be construed as fraud that potentially misled investors.