'Shortseller Enrichment Commission’? Musk mocks SEC over fraud probe

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As earlier mentioned in People Matters, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had charged Musk with misleading investors with tweets on 7th August that said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding.

The CEO of the electric vehicle maker (TSLA) fired off a tweet Thursday afternoon in an apparent snub of the Securities and Exchange Commission, referring to the agency as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission".

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".

The embattled executive mockingly said the "Short-Seller Enrichment Commission" is "doing incredible work", he wrote in a Twitter message.

Getting back to today's story, The New York Times says Musk demand that Tesla fight the SEC complaint and company's board "publicly extol his integrity". The share price climbed as much as 11pc and by the close of play, Tesla's value had jumped by $6.3bn (£4.9bn) and Mr Musk was $1.2bn richer. "Why would they be upset about their mission?"

The SEC declined to comment.

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Thomas Gorman, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Washington, D.C., said Musk might argue that the latest tweet might be a mere "personal lament", and not a violation of the settlement.

Musk is believed to have experienced a change of heart after seeing Tesla's stock plunge the following morning.

The tweet came just hours after U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ordered Musk and the SEC to submit a joint letter justifying the terms of the settlement by October 11.

FILE PHOTO: A newly installed vehicle charger at a Tesla Super Charging station is shown in Carlsbad, California, U.S. September 14, 2018.

For her part, Nathan may have limited room to intervene, after a federal appeals court curbed the ability of judges to reject SEC settlements.