Elon Musk taunts SEC days after fraud settlement

Ivan Schwartz
October 7, 2018

He also reportedly demanded that Tesla's directors publicly back him, prompting the company to issue a statement saying that it is "fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership of the company". Tesla is one of the most shorted stocks on Wall Street.

Musk derided the SEC as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" before snidely praising it for "doing incredible work".

Following a freakish August 16 interview with The New York Times, Musk's actions were under scrutiny again last month after he appeared to smoke marijuana and drink whiskey during comedian Joe Rogan 's podcast. A former SEC enforcement lawyer told Bloomberg the SEC "can theoretically seek to pull the settlement" if they feel Musk isn't complying with the agreed-upon settlement, which included orders for Tesla to implement controls over Musk's communications.

Tesla and the SEC declined requests for comment.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said her regular practice is to have parties submit a joint letter, in this case by October 11, to show why their settlement was fair and reasonable and would not hurt the public interest. It is also unclear whether this money will be used to cover Musk's $20 million SEC fine.

"It also bolsters the SEC argument that the motive for the false and misleading tweets about taking the company private was to thwart the short sellers".

FBN's Charlie Gasparino on the reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk could help select the company's new directors and chairperson. He SEC alleged he rounded up the buyout price for Tesla to $420 a share to amuse his girlfriend at the time with a marijuana-culture reference.

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The BBC's North America technology reporter Dave Lee said many people had expected Mr Musk would "rein in his Twitter habit".

Tesla investors will be watching and hoping that the additional information provided in the letter will be enough for the judge to approve the settlement.

It seems that the committee will start overseeing things in a few months, so we have about 80 days remaining of potential Twitter adventures with Musk.

In its quarterly letter, Greenlight said its short position on Tesla was its second-biggest victor in the third quarter.

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 today in a tweet that indicated he is still stewing about the allegations filed against him.

Even without the latest controversy, Tesla "has been driving along the edge", said Tim Higgins at The Wall Street Journal.

Other reports by GizPress

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