Elon Musk: Tesla boss mocks United States regulator days after settlement

Ivan Schwartz
October 5, 2018

The SEC's allegation of fraud against Mr Musk related to tweets he posted in August in which he said he was considering taking electronic auto maker Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership. The SEC did not respond to requests for comment on Nathan's order and Musk's tweet.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission had charged Musk with securities fraud, alleging that he misled investors when he tweeted on 7 August.

The tweet ends with "the name change is so on point", which appears to be a reference to the SEC - mocking the agency.

As part of Musk's settlement with the SEC, Tesla is supposed to monitor its CEO's Twitter posts, but only those that have to do with company news.

Musk was subsequently forced to give up his position as Tesla chairman and pay a $20-million penalty to settle fraud charges.

Musk also dragged BlackRock Inc. into his long-running dispute with short sellers, claiming that the fund manager was reaping heavy profits by lending shares they hold to this group of investors.

On Thursday, Tesla shares fell 2.4% to $275 in after-hours trading.

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"I think it is juvenile and sophomoric and narcissistic, but I don't think it has particular relevance to the subject of the lawsuit against him", said Harvey Pitt, the SEC chairman under President George W. Bush.

But the deal didn't prevent the free-wheeling Musk from continuing to speak out about other subjects - a liberty he took advantage of to bash the SEC in a Thursday tweet that indicated he is still stewing about the allegations filed against him.

The settlement hit a bump in the road on Thursday after the federal judge on the case ordered Musk and the organisation to justify the agreement as "fair and reasonable".

But Musk and Tesla might not even be out of the woods yet.

"It bolsters the SEC's argument that to the extent he was misrepresenting the facts, that he was [tweeting] to screw with the shortsellers", Alma Angotti, a managing director at Navigant and former SEC senior counsel said. Musk said on Twitter.

Musk doubled down on the tweet shortly after.

Other reports by GizPress

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