Elon Musk’s tweet about Tesla privatization was fake, US judge says
Investors took particular aim at Musk’s comments at a TED event last week in Vancouver. He said “I was forced to concede to the SEC illegally” and settle the agency’s lawsuit over the 2018 “Secure Funding” tweet.
Shareholders say August 2018’s ‘definitely false’ tweet and follow-up Twitter posts cost them billions of dollars amid rampant swings in Tesla’s stock price, while Musk’s lawyers have retorted that the message to his millions of subscribers was “entirely truthful”.
To push back against claims that the missive was fraudulent, Musk’s lawyers stood by their argument that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund had agreed to back his bid to take Tesla private.
Lawyers for the shareholders said Chen was “explicit and unambiguous” in siding with them in the judge’s April 1 order finding the August 2018 tweet to be false.
The judge found that Musk “recklessly made the statements knowing they were untrue,” the attorneys said in Friday’s filing.
Nicholas Porritt, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the judge’s order was not made public and was shared with the parties on April 12.
“Because it refers to evidence that the defendants considered confidential, the court has provisionally filed the order under seal while the parties agree which parties, if any, are to remain under seal,” Porritt said in an email.
Court officials could not immediately be contacted to confirm the judge’s order.
The case is called Tesla Inc. Securities Litigation, 18-cv-04865, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).