Elon Musk’s SEC twitter taunts may backfire

Kanye West performs during the World AIDS Day concert In Times Square in New York on Dec. 1 2014.					Charles Sykes The Canadian Press via AP

Kanye West performs during the World AIDS Day concert In Times Square in New York on Dec. 1 2014. Charles Sykes The Canadian Press via AP

In late September, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk over securities fraud for tweeting that he had secured funding in order to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

He said: "Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work". This rollercoaster started taking him on a more and more risky ride in the past two weeks, as he has been charged by the SEC with fraud, settled with the watchdog, has been banned from being chair of Tesla for the next three years and fined, together with the company he leads, $40 million.

The settlement mandated that the company must implement "mandatory procedures and controls to oversee all of Elon Musk's communications regarding the Company made in any format". "And the name change is so on point!" he said on Twitter.

Following a freaky August 16 interview with The New York Times, Musk's actions were under scrutiny again last month after he appeared to smoke marijuana and drink whiskey during comedian Joe Rogan 's podcast. Tesla didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

While things aren't on the up-and-up for eccentric entrepreneur Elon Musk, ousted as Tesla chairman and sued by a USA agency for fraud over scandalous tweets, he's now put Twitter in overdrive with an act certain to invite trouble.

A Tesla spokesman said the company had no comment on the tweet.

But the settlement still needs court approval.

In June, Musk wrote that shorts "have about three weeks before their short position explodes"-presumably a prediction that Tesla's strong quarterly results would cause Tesla's stock to rise".

But the SEC found that Musk had overstated the matter and sued him, accusing him of securities fraud.

The settlement last Saturday was meant to resolve charges that Musk misled investors in tweets on 7 August, including that there was "funding secured" to take his Palo Alto, California-based company private at $420 per share.

The statement by the electric automaker's CEO alludes to "shortsellers", investors who have bet that Tesla shares will fall and who are frequently the subject of Musk's derision.

About 40 minutes later, he doubled-down on the tweet and apologized for the typo in the original post.

Shortly after that tweet, he added another in response to someone else who suggested he should be careful about "enraging the Shortseller Enrichment Committee".

"It also bolsters the SEC argument that the motive for the false and misleading tweets about taking the company private was to thwart the short sellers".

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