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Musk says U.S. SEC 'bastards' forced settlement over Tesla tweets

Stock Markets Apr 14, 2022 08:41PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves Manhattan federal court after a hearing on his fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York City, U.S. April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
 
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(Note: Strong language in paragraphs 1 and 4)

By Hyunjoo Jin and Sheila Dang

(Reuters) - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc CEO Elon Musk on Thursday stepped up criticism of the U.S. securities regulator, calling Securities and Exchange Commission officials "bastards" for bringing fraud charges against him over his 2018 tweets regarding taking the company private.

On the day he made major news by unveiling a $43 billion cash takeover offer for social media company Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Musk aired his grievances toward the SEC during remarks at the TED Conference in Vancouver.

Musk, the world's richest person according to a Forbes tally, said funding to take his electrical car company private was actually secured at the time he posted his tweets, but the agency "pursued the active public investigation nonetheless."

"So I was forced to concede to the SEC unlawfully. Those bastards," Musk told the audience.

Musk said he felt forced to settle with the SEC because banks threatened to cease providing capital if he did not do so, which would have made Tesla bankrupt immediately.

"So that's like having a gun to your child's head," Musk said.

"I was forced to admit that I lied to save Tesla's life and that's the only reason," Musk added.

Musk and Tesla each paid $20 million civil fines - and Musk stepped down as Tesla's chairman - to resolve SEC claims that Musk defrauded investors on Aug. 7, 2018, by posting on Twitter that he had "funding secured" to take the company private. The SEC said at the time his funding tweets "lacked an adequate basis in fact."

A related consent decree also required Musk to obtain pre-clearance from Tesla lawyers for tweets and other public statements that could be material to Tesla.

A spokesperson for the SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Musk rejected an invitation to join Twitter's board last Saturday after disclosing his current more than 9% stake. He was required to have disclosed that he held a stake exceeding 5 percent in Twitter and is expected to invite regulatory scrutiny for missing a deadline to disclose such a stake and filing the wrong form, according to securities experts.

On launching his Twitter takeover bid, Musk said he made the offer because he believes "it's very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech." Musk said he believes Twitter's algorithm should be open-source and suggested the code behind it should be available on Github, a Microsoft-owned platform for sharing code for software development.

Asked if he had the financing to do the deal, Musk said: "I have sufficient assets. I can do it if possible." He did not offer details.

Musk says U.S. SEC 'bastards' forced settlement over Tesla tweets
 

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Comments (11)
taylor jason
taylor jason Apr 15, 2022 1:01PM ET
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musk fraudulently posts on Twitter "funding is secured to take tesla private" which triggers a price reaction in the company stock, then the sec fines him, but the sec is the ****** they should have charged him with Fraud and market manipulation. this guy is the biggest pos out there
Giorgio Sericeno
Giorgio Sericeno Apr 15, 2022 1:01PM ET
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do no comment on things you do not know. All this negativity is so nasty
Paul Smith
Paul Smith Apr 15, 2022 9:11AM ET
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the SEC and all the crooked politicians are upset with musk because he put out the information and made it public so that anyone could buy or sell their shares in Tesla. if he had just informed the SEC and all the crooked politicians first so that they could buy or sell their shares before everybody else and make a huge profit.
CS Greer
CSGreer Apr 14, 2022 10:15PM ET
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The SEC and the federal government doesn't like Musk because he doesn't bow to their Commie agenda.
Lawrenti Berija
Lawrenti Berija Apr 14, 2022 10:15PM ET
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yet he bows to the CCP
Ashraf Vawda
Ashraf Vawda Apr 14, 2022 10:15PM ET
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Lawrenti Berija  How? By selling electric cars to them? He is doing them a favor considering that they are the worst violators and the so called liberal powers that be cant sanction them because of being silent bed partners.
Ricardo Chavez
Ricardo Chavez Apr 14, 2022 9:47PM ET
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Please, with all your money get educated.
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Apr 14, 2022 9:47PM ET
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haha
Dave DoggyDogg
Dave DoggyDogg Apr 14, 2022 9:25PM ET
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SEC is typically ran by former banksters, therefore they will almost always side with the banks. Criminal and Judicial system appears to only punish the mischievous wolves of wall st with a slap on the wrist and peasant fines UNLESS they pose major risk to other wolves. It appears Elon is out to exploit the SEC's leniency and biasness favoritism towards the "elite" and "wolves"
Shep De
Shep De Apr 14, 2022 9:07PM ET
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SEC bastards, that T-2 day trading restriction for folks is restrictive to human rights too. Let ANYONE DAYTRADE WITH 10,000 IN ACCOUNT, that flippin' 25K # to daytrade is really illegal BUT SEC gets away with it. ONE DAY MAX. , not TWO!!! Amen@elonmusk
Jack AAA
Jack_A Apr 14, 2022 8:57PM ET
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I agree with him: SEC bastards!
steve clark
steve clark Apr 14, 2022 8:54PM ET
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He is doing the right thing
John Amicaterra
John Amicaterra Apr 14, 2022 7:42PM ET
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It’s what i deserves for mis leading is own investors
Kenny Venezia
Kenny Venezia Apr 14, 2022 6:49PM ET
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wow! elon is full of ***** but that's nothing new
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Apr 14, 2022 6:49PM ET
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Anyone that doesnt get Musk, is a sheep! 100%
William Parry Dillen
William Parry Dillen Apr 14, 2022 6:49PM ET
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Trevor Roberts spoken like a true cult follower.
 
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