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Tesla's Elon Musk runs out of cash

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Silicon Valley icon and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk's bank account has run dry and he's been living off his friends' money, according to court documents.

"About four months ago, I ran out of cash," Musk wrote in a court filing with the Superior Court of Los Angeles on Feb. 23, released by VentureBeat.com on Friday. "I had to obtain emergency loans from personal friends. These loans are the exclusive source of cash I have. If I did not take these loans, I would have no liquid assets left."

Even with the help of borrowed money, Musk said he had less than $650,000 in liquid assets.

The documents were part of Musk's divorce trial and showed that the electric car entrepreneur was spending $200,000 each month while bringing in only $8,255 in personal income.

The $200,000 in monthly spending has gone toward living expenses and supporting his wife and children, according to the filing.

In addition, Musk said that he never received the phantom interest income amounting to more than $1 million on a loan he made to Tesla.

"I did not and could not actually receive this money from Tesla," he wrote. "It was converted to equity. This will cause me to pay taxes even though I didn't receive actual cash income, further straining my cash resources."

Besides Musk's contributions, Tesla Motor Co. is also being backed up financially by Toyota. Last week, the Japanese automaker announced that it will invest $50 million in the electric car maker, while Tesla said it plans to purchase one of Toyota's plants, which had been operated as a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota.

But Tesla isn't guaranteed Toyota's help until it completes an initial public offering, and the fact that Tesla is spending $42 million on the Fremont plant, or Nummi, may not bode well for the electric car maker.

Musk and Tesla were not immediately available to comment.

CNNMoney's Ben Rooney contributed to this report. To top of page

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