Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently rips SEC after deal: 'Shortseller Enrichment Commission'

Devin Lawrence
October 7, 2018

Following the SEC settlement, Musk agreed to pay a $20m fine and step aside as Tesla's chairman for three years.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemed to take aim at the Securities and Exchange Commission in a tweet on Thursday, calling it the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission".

"Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work", Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the electric auto company, wrote on Twitter. "And the name change is so on point!" he said on Twitter.

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U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said her regular practice is to have parties submit a joint letter, in this case by October 11, to show why their settlement was fair and reasonable and would not hurt the public interest.

His distaste for short sellers was viewed as a key reason why he briefly proposed taking Tesla private - a short-lived plan that he revealed on Twitter despite, the SEC said, not having lined up the funding he claimed to have gotten for the deal.

Tesla said in its 3Q vehicle safety report that "we've registered one accident or crash-like event for every 3.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged". Tesla didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently blasted federal regulators Thursday, less than a week after striking a settlement with them to resolve accusations that he misled investors with false statements. In the fraud settlement Musk and Tesla were also fined with $20 million each.

The latest tweet from Musk came the same day that US District Court judge Alison Nathan from NY requested a joint letter regarding why she should approve of the tentative settlement between Musk the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The tweet appeared to jar investors, who drove Tesla shares down 2.4 percent in after-hours trading to $275.

Barely days later it was announced that Musk would be stepping down as Chairman of Tesla for misleading the company's investors. "Index managers like Blackrock pocket [sic] make excessive profit from short lending while pretending to charge low rates for "passive" index tracking".

The SEC declined to comment Thursday. A federal judge sought to rip up a settlement between Citigroup and the SEC in 2011, launching a three-year battle with the SEC. He called Musk at the request from one of Musk's lawyers, the Journal reported.

Pritchard said he saw no "serious chance" for Musk's settlement to be rejected based on 2nd Circuit precedent.

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