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Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently rips SEC after deal: 'Shortseller Enrichment Commission'

07 October, 2018, 17:40 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Wil James Murdoch be the new Chairman of Tesla?

Also among the settlement's provisions: Tesla must set up a committee to review Musk's communications directed at investors, including his posts on Twitter and other social media.

The board has not engaged in any "serious" discussions of who should be the chairman, the paper said, citing a source close to the selection process.

Musk has been in hot water with the SEC since August 7, when he claimed on Twitter that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

The tweets may imperil a deal struck with the SEC on Saturday - which isn't final - that would bar him from serving as chairman of the car-maker for three years as a punishment for problematic tweets he sent about taking Tesla private.

Reuters couldn't reach out to Murdoch for comment.

Representatives for the Palo Alto, California-based company didn't respond to requests for comment.

FILE PHOTO: Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China January 26, 2016.

The SEC declined Business Insider's request for comment.

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Musk, who has long railed against Tesla's short sellers - investors who bet against the company - called the SEC the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission". The SEC had accused him of securities fraud in a lawsuit and had asked a federal judge to bar him from ever again leading a publicly traded company.

It's also worth noting that, just three minutes after Musk's tweet, Tesla stock prices fell by another 2%. A federal judge still has to decide whether the penalties levied against the CEO are appropriate.

The settlement, which still must be approved by a federal judge, includes a provision meant to rein in the Tesla chief's much-criticized use of Twitter.

But in 2014, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Rakoff's rejection of a $285 million settlement between the SEC and Citigroup Inc, saying he should have given "significant deference" to the regulator.

Musk, 47, has rarely seemed hesitant to make provocative statements to his more than 22 million followers on Twitter.

But the settlement still needs court approval.

That arrangement is unusual, says Jay Dubow, a partner at Pepper Hamilton and a former branch chief with the SEC's enforcement division.

"The Court has a duty to ensure the proposed consent judgment is "fair and reasonable", Judge Nathan wrote in the order, numbered 18-cv-08865-AJN". The court expects to receive the joint statement by 11 October, explaining why their settlement should be approved.

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