Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Tesla's Musk mocks SEC as judge demands they justify fraud settlement

Tesla's Musk mocks SEC as judge demands they justify fraud settlement

"And the name change is so on point!" Musk wrote on Twitter in an apparent jab at the SEC and short sellers, who he has slammed on social media before. The SEC did not respond to requests for comment on Nathan's order and Musk's tweet. "One Barclays analyst told CNN that shares in Tesla carry a "$130 Musk Premium" which would evaporate if he were deposed.

On September 27, the SEC had filed charges against Musk, claiming that he made false statements about taking his company private at $420 a share.

The tweet came less than four hours after U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ordered Musk and the SEC to explain by October 11 in a joint letter why their settlement was fair and reasonable and would not hurt the public interest.

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The settlement mandated that the company must implement "mandatory procedures and controls to oversee all of Elon Musk's communications regarding the Company made in any format".

"At the very the least, they can read the riot act to Musk's lawyer", said Stephen Crimmins, a former SEC enforcement lawyer who's now a partner at Murphy & McGovern.

Elon Musk's Twitter account on Thursday appeared to mock the Securities and Exchange Commission only days after the Tesla Inc. chief executive settled fraud charges, suggesting the agency was enriching investors betting against the electric-car maker. 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.

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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".

Tesla stock dropped 2 percent in after-hours trading after Thursday's tweet.

Musk has kept up his cryptic ways this week, tweeting out a music video by rap group Naughty by Nature for their 1991 hit song "O.P.P".

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The settlement still needs approval from the courts. 'This is just a hoop to be jumped through'.

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