Tesla CEO Musk mocks SEC on Twitter after fraud lawsuit

06 October, 2018, 18:35 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Kanye West performs during the World AIDS Day concert In Times Square in New York on Dec. 1 2014.					Charles Sykes The Canadian Press via AP

The Tesla boss agreed to pay a fine of $20m (£15m) to the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a tweet he had written boasting that he had funding to take his firm private.

Musk tweeted August 7 that he had "secured" funding to privatize the electric automaker at $420 a share, causing a brief spike in Tesla's share price.

The tweet calling the SEC the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" came just hours after a federal judge ordered Musk and the SEC to write a letter justifying a settlement which allows him to remain in charge at Tesla.

The Tesla boss dislike of short-sellers is well-known: He once called them "jerks who want us to die".

Per the terms of the settlement: "Tesla will establish a new committee of independent directors and put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk's communications".

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Elon Musk is taunting the government regulators who threatened to oust him as CEO of electric carmaker Tesla just days after he settled a case alleging he duped investors. Part of the deal reportedly also required him to get approval for all tweets related to his company before posting.

Later, he re-posted a tweet he had written in 2012, saying: "That said, even though they cause me grief, I would defend the right of shorts to exist".

SEC charged the executive with securities fraud which led to the settlement in which Musk must pay $20 million and Tesla must also cough up a further $20 million.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan on Thursday ordered the SEC, Musk and Tesla to filed documents by October 11 explaining why the agreement is "fair and reasonable". A judge has yet to approve the settlement.

In court papers and at a news conference, the regulator went to great lengths to spell out Musk's carelessness and erratic behavior, highlighting his threat earlier this year to "burn" investors betting against Tesla stock. Its shares were down 7 percent at $262.05 in late afternoon trading. The share price climbed as much as 11pc and by the close of play, Tesla's value had jumped by $6.3bn (£4.9bn) and Mr Musk was $1.2bn richer.

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