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SEC targets Musk for ‘misleading’ Tesla tweets

Joe Mont | September 27, 2018

Weeks of speculation are over. The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Tesla for online comments made last month by founder Elon Musk about possibly taking the publicly traded company private, and is seeking to oust Musk as CEO.

As the news broke on Thursday afternoon, Tesla’s share place plummeted nearly 10 percent in after-market trading.

At the heart of the controversy is this Aug. 7 Twitter post from Musk: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

After weeks of backtracking and explanations by the company, many involving claimed Saudi investors and interest from a sovereign wealth fund, rumors emerged that both the SEC and Department of Justice were considering actions against the company. For the SEC, those details emerged this week in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-8865).

“Musk’s statements, disseminated via Twitter, falsely indicated...

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