A few weeks ago, Canoo unveiled its first-ever electric vehicle (EV), but now, along with its co-founder, Stefan Krause, the company is facing accusations of discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, and wrongful termination in a new lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed by none other than the wife of Stefan Krause, Christina Krause, in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The complaint revealed several allegations against Canoo and Stefan, including the unfair treatment that Christina received, like getting paid less than other founding members and not being given a "founder" status because her "role wasn't critical for the building of the car."

Christina also claims that she was given less equity because her husband insisted that both of them would "share all of his equity," and for her to ask for more "would be considered greedy."

The lawsuit also revealed how Canoo was founded via a gentlemen's agreement with Stefen Krause, David Li, and David Stern back in 2017 in Hong Kong. Li and Stern provided the capital for Canoo while Stefen was assigned to take care of the necessary business processes.

Right before the company launched its new vehicle and its subscription payment scheme in September, Stefan left the company, citing "personal reasons" for his departure and was replaced by Ulrich Kranz to manage the day to day operations of Canoo. 

But a few months earlier, in March, Stefan asked his wife to have an attorney draw up an "enforceable postnuptial agreement," according to the complaint. Supposedly, this was to prearrange how their shares would be handled in case of a divorce.  And this came a time when the company was in the course of "rapid growth and financial prospect."

When Christina couldn't find an attorney right away, her husband personally drafted the postnuptial agreement and forced her to sign it with Stern, and Kanz allegedly pressured her into yielding to her husband's demands.

On July 8, Stefen filed for divorce and even had the company conduct an internal investigation on his wife a few weeks later without her notice and ultimately fired her.

Canoo EV The exterior of Canoo takes on a van-like shape with focus on a spacious interior. Photo: Canoo