Elon Musk blasts US watchdog after being fined £15m for tweeting plan to take Tesla private
Outburst: Elon Musk posted criticism of the regulator that had just fined him
Tesla shares took a pounding yesterday after boss Elon Musk posted more ill-advised remarks criticising the regulator that had just fined him.
The billionaire branded the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the ‘Shortsellers Enrichment Commission’.
Days before he had agreed a settlement with the SEC to avoid prosecution by paying a £15million fine and stepping down as Tesla’s chairman for three years.
The settlement was as a result of a misleading tweet by Musk in August claiming he had ‘funding secured’ for his plan to take Tesla private.
The SEC had charged Musk with fraud and sought to ban him from being a company director before reaching the deal.
The regulator claimed his tweets about taking Tesla private had been designed to hurt short-sellers – hedge funds betting that the company’s share price would fall.
The settlement requires a new chairman and independent directors to be brought in and for Musk’s output on social media – including Twitter – to be more tightly controlled.
But in his latest outburst on Twitter, Musk, 47, wrote: ‘Just want to [say] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work.
‘And the name change is so on point!’
Shares fell 4 per cent, delighting short-sellers betting against Tesla. And in a series of further tweets after the SEC settlement, Musk also claimed short selling ‘should be illegal’.
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