Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Elon Musk Mocks the SEC on Twitter: ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’

Elon Musk Mocks the SEC on Twitter: ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’

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.

Less than a week after settling fraud charges with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday derided the agency on Twitter. The tweet may test the boundaries of an agreement not to deny wrongdoing, and a federal judge still has to decide whether the penalties levied against the CEO are appropriate.

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".

The agency accused Musk in its September 27 complaint of misleading investors with his infamous August 7 tweets about having the investor support and "funding secured" to take Tesla private.

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Saturday's settlement required Musk to step down as Tesla's chairman, appoint two new independent directors, and pay a $20 million fine.

Musk has repeatedly clashed with Tesla short-sellers in recent months and cited pressure from investors with short positions as a key factor in his aborted pitch to take the company private.

He also named dropped Tesla CEO Elon Musk, stating that we need to "leave him the f**k alone".

Peter Haveles, a partner in the Trial and Dispute Resolution Practice Group, said Musk's tweets showed his lack of self discipline and puts intense pressure on Tesla board.

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The settlement provided for appointment of a new chairman and directors, as well as moves to oversee Musk's output on social media. However, it is important to note that the SEC has recognized Musk as one of Tesla's most valuable assets.

Musk's tweet on Thursday received more than 2,500 responses, with some users questioning the billionaire's judgment. Nathan must approve the settlement's terms. Bearing in mind that it was a tweet that got Musk in trouble in the first place, it's perhaps ironic that he has apparently taken aim at the SEC using Twitter.

The 2nd Circuit has jurisdiction over Nathan's court, and Pritchard said the Citigroup decision likely foreshadows approval of Musk's settlement. "This is just a hoop to be jumped through", he said.

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