Elon Musk: The SEC claims that the fact that Tesla's CEO is not complying with the court's order following his tweets is "staggering"


In a report filed Monday, the SEC said it was "amazing" that the billionaire business leader continued to send tweets on Tesla without consulting other people in the company while 39 he had accepted a court ordered bylaw compelling him to do so.

The filing is the latest salvo in a long battle between the SEC and Musk, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the securities regulator.

In the fall, Musk signed a court-approved agreement with the SEC to settle charges over its controversial tweet in August over plans to privatize Tesla. The settlement stipulated that Musk should receive prior approval for any social media postings containing "material" information for Tesla shareholders. At the time, the electric car manufacturer had announced the creation of a board committee to oversee the positions of its general manager.
But since then, the SEC has criticized Musk's tweet. At the end of February, the commission filed a motion asking a federal judge to sentence Musk in contempt for violating the terms of the settlement.

The SEC quoted a tweet from Feb. 19 in which Musk said that Tesla would build 500,000 cars in 2019. He then tweeted a message stating that Tesla would build at the annual rate of 500,000 cars by the end of the year. Year, but would actually only 400,000 cars in 2019.

Musk fought back last week, arguing that the tweet contained no important information about Tesla, that he had diligently attempted to follow the judicial settlement and that the SEC's request violated his constitutional right to freedom of conduct. ;expression.

"Reckless driving"

The SEC disputed these points in its Monday filing.

"The pre-approval obligation has been designed to avoid any thoughtless conduct of Musk," said the agency. "So it is amazing to learn that at the time of filing the [contempt] motion, Musk did not seek prior approval of just one of the many Tesla tweets it had published in the months following the application of the pre-approval approval policy. "

SEC asks judge to sentence Elon Musk with contempt

Musk interprets the regulation "as not requiring prior approval unless Musk itself unilaterally decides that his planned tweets are important, "said the agency, adding that such an approach is" inconsistent with the clear terms "of the regulation and renders" non-significant "the pre-approval condition.

The SEC also stated that Musk had "made no diligent or good faith effort to comply with the prior court order approval provision".

And he rejected Tesla 's CEO' s argument that his rights to the First Amendment are being violated, because the fact of needing prior approval for his tweets does not mean "that 's". he is forbidden to speak. "

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, the SEC had sought to remove Musk as CEO of Tesla, after tweeting in August that he had secured funds to privatize the company. It was finally revealed that, if he had talked to investors, he had got nothing. The SEC said the tweet was "false and misleading".
The settlement allowed Musk to remain as CEO, but he had to give up his role as chairman of Tesla's board. Tesla and he were fined a total of $ 40 million, which Musk himself paid.

The US District Court in southern New York, which approved the initial settlement in October, will decide whether Musk's tweet, dated Feb. 19, violated the deal.

Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

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