SEC Wants Elon Musk Held In Contempt Over Latest Tweets


The Securities and Exchange Commission wants a federal judge to hold Tesla chief executive Elon Musk in contempt for violating a settlement deal reached last year.

On February 19, Musk tweeted that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.” He went on to correct that tweet later in the day, stating “Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.”

Musk’s tweets landed him in hot water because he reached an agreement with the SEC in October 2018 that any of his tweets with information that’s “material” to shareholders must be pre-approved by the company before they’re published. Tesla even agreed to establish a board committee to oversee Musk’s posts. The settlement also states that any edits to pre-approved language needs to be approved again by Tesla’s committee.

CNN Business reports that in a court filing, Tesla admitted that Musk didn’t receive pre-approval for these posts but states he didn’t need to as the language he used was based on information Tesla made public during a January 30 earnings call. “SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing…” Musk tweeted today.

While Tesla said it would produce an annualized rate of 500,000 cars, Musk’s tweet implied that it would build 500,000 vehicles total this year.

The SEC claims in court papers that Musk has not “made a diligent or good faith effort” to comply with the settlement.

According to professor at Georgetown University Law Center Urska Velikonja, Musk could face fines of up to $1000 a day if a court finds that he did violate the settlement.

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  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    The runaway mouth came over the hill and he blew!

  • Christian
  • TheBelltower

    The SEC is being dumb. He’s still the CEO and he’s certainly permitted to talk-up the accomplishments of his company. Any claims that he’s attempting to manipulate stock prices will have to be a lot more direct than this.

    • Rocket

      He’s limited to what he can say if it has the potential to impact stock prices. Not only did he not get approval per the settlement that he himself agreed to, but he exaggerated the production volume by 25%. Obviously, he realized he screwed up, leading to the follow-up tweet.

      He very publicly mocked the SEC last year. He can’t possibly be surprised if they have him under a microscope. If anybody is being dumb, it’s Elon.

      • assassingtr

        Hubris goes hand in hand in success. Obviously he doesn’t think much of the SEC and he knows they’re pulling at any thread they can to try and unravel him. I think he enjoys the chase.

  • Jason Miller

    You want to see how brilliant this man is? Just read his tweets that have anything to do with SpaceX. Ask him any question and he can answer it. He’d be better off selling Tesla to the highest bidder and putting all of his effort into SpaceX. That is where he belongs.

    • Paulbe

      That and/or he’d be better off tweeting less and quality controlling more. Fundamentals still matter in this industry.

  • Rocket

    Quite possibly the dumbest genius on the planet. Amazing how intelligence and common sense sometimes refuse to coexist.

  • Alexandro Pietro

    Musk doesn´t like the regime of the U.S.A.,and to be sincere,it really its not for any taste ,and stomachs!!!

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Just make the Iron Man armor already, Elon.

  • Astonman

    just read a great article on Elon from WIRED magazine. It covers the time of trying to get production of the Model 3 going. Highly recommend it.

  • Harry_Wild

    SEC has gone in censorship mode! Musk now cannot speak for the company he has founded but has to go through a committee for approval as Telsa’s CEO!🤪

  • Enter Ranting

    For a smart guy, Musk sure does some dumb things.

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