The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says Elon Musk hasn’t made a “good faith” attempt to comply with a settlement reached last year and revealed that none of his tweets are being approved by Tesla.
On February 19th, Elon Musk published a tweet stating that the automaker would make “around 500,000” cars in 2019. Despite later clarifying this, the SEC asked for a judge to hold Musk in contempt for violating the settlement he reached last year after that “take Tesla private” tweet. The SEC has gone on to claim that Musk’s tweet was “demonstrably material and inaccurate.”
Last week, Musk’s lawyers said the SEC’s request for him to be held in contempt was an “unconstitutional power grab.” Now, the SEC has hit back, revealing that Musk wasn’t having any of his tweets pre-approved by Tesla, despite a court-ordered pre-approval policy being implemented as part of Musk’s settlement with the SEC, The Verge reports.
According to the SEC, not a single tweet from Elon Musk since the settlement went into effect in mid-December until February 19 had been pre-approved. This includes tweets regarding the company’s refund policies, pricing, Gigafactory plans, and more.
“Musk’s unchecked and misleading tweets about Tesla are what precipitated the SEC’s charges, and the pre-approval requirement was designed to protect against reckless conduct by Musk going forward.
“It is therefore stunning to learn that, at the time of filing [the request to hold Musk in contempt], Musk had not sought pre-approval for a single one of the numerous tweets about Tesla he published in the months since the Court-ordered pre-approval policy went into effect,” the SEC said.
Elon Musk hinted that no one at Tesla was looking at his tweets in an interview with 60 Minutes late last year. In the interview, Musk said tweets which could have an impact on the company’s stock price were the only ones which needed to be reviewed. When asked how Tesla can determine which tweets could impact its stock without reviewing all of them, Musk simply replied, “I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?”