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Liaquat Ali Mirani
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Liaquat Ali Mirani   My Press Releases

Tesla CEO Elon Musk could see a contempt charge filed against him for yet another misleading tweet. | Source: REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

Published on 2/26/2019
For additional information  Click Here

Tesla CEO Elon Musk could see a contempt charge filed against him for yet another misleading tweet. | Source: REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

Elon Musk in Trouble Again Over Tesla Tweet as SEC Declares War

The love, hate relationship between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the SEC reached a new level Monday. The regulator called for Musk to be held in contempt for violating a previous judgment related to his penchant to tweetinfo that runs afoul of securities rules.

The SEC (U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission)  filed a contempt order against Musk. It noted specifically that he violated a fraud settlement by tweeting material information without preapproval. The news sent Tesla’s stock spiraling. It was down as much as 5% during extended trading Monday.

https://www.ccn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tsla-sec.png

WE KNEW IT WOULD LEAD TO THIS

CCN reported about the latest tweet from Musk that would likely land him in hot water with the SEC.

On Feb. 19, he tweeted:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DzzqQYMU0AAX67S?format=jpg&name=small

In its filing, the SEC zeroed in on these tweets, stating:

Musk did not seek or receive pre-approval prior to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people. Musk has thus violated the Court’s Final Judgment by engaging in the very conduct that the pre-approval provision of the Final Judgment was designed to prevent.

WORKING THE SEC’S NERVES

Shortly after the SEC’s filing Monday, Musk tweeted:

View image on Twitter
 
 
 

What, if anything, that tweet has to do with the SEC’s move is anyone’s guess. However, it is interesting timing.

MISLEADING INVESTORS

The SEC filed a complaint against Musk in September of 2018. It alleged that he “published a series of false and misleading statements to millions of people, including members of the press, using the social media platform Twitter.”

The SEC found Musk’s “misleading tweets” had caused Tesla’s stock price to jump by more than 6% on Aug. 7, 2018. That’s when he tweeted he could take Tesla private at $420 per share. The misleading tweets caused Tesla’s stock price to jump by more than 6% on that date, according to the SEC.

As part of the settlement, Musk had to pay a $20 million fine. That’s likely chump change for the billionaire. However, the settlement also stripped him of his chairman title, which likely stung his ego a bit.

Only more aggravating was the requirement that Musk seek approval from a newly-created overseer charged with reviewing anything he posts to social media, including Twitter.

NO LOVE LOST

During an interview with the television show “60 Minutes,” Musk said:

 “I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC.”

He said about the chairman role that he’d prefer “to have no titles at all.”

About the tweeting, Musk said:

The only tweets that would have to be, say, ‘reviewed’ would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock [price]. Otherwise, it’s, ‘hello, first amendment.’ Like, freedom of speech is fundamental.

 
 
 
 
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