Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk taunts SEC days after fraud settlement

Elon Musk introduces the falcon wing door on the Model X electric sports-utility vehicles during a presentation in Fremont California Tesla CEO Elon Musk taunts SEC days after fraud settlement
Ivan Hill | 05 October, 2018, 02:45

The CEO of the electric vehicle maker (TSLA) fired off a tweet Thursday afternoon in an apparent snub of the Securities and Exchange Commission, referring to the agency as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission".

A 1:16 p.m. California time, Mr. Musk's Twitter account tweeted, "Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!" "Why would they be upset about their mission?"

The SEC's lawsuit also said Musk made a "series of additional materially false and misleading statements" about taking Tesla private and his actions "caused significant confusion and disruption in the market".

"I don't think the SEC would look at this as a denial of the facts alleged", said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.

The SEC declined to comment about the latest tweet, and a spokesperson for Tesla was not immediately available for comment.

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.

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The tweet came just hours after U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ordered Musk and the SEC to submit a joint letter justifying the terms of the settlement by October 11.

Musk must also step down as chairman of the board (he gets to stay on as CEO), and in addition to his penalty of $20 million, Tesla has been fined another $20 million. "He is just belittling the SEC", Pitt added.

Musk has frequently sparred with short sellers who have bet against the company, and his tweet suggests he believes the SEC acted to benefit his enemies.

Shares of Tesla ended Thursday down 4.40% to $281.83.

For her part, Nathan may have limited room to intervene, after a federal appeals court curbed the ability of judges to reject SEC settlements.

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