Tesla's Musk mocks SEC as judge demands they justify fraud settlement

Tesla's Musk mocks SEC as judge demands they justify fraud settlement

"And the name change is so on point!"

Shortly after that tweet, he added another in response to someone else who suggested he should be careful about "enraging the Shortseller Enrichment Committee". "Why would they be upset about their mission?"

But Musk had not secured the funding, the SEC said.

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Tesla and Mr. Musk agreed to pay $20-M each to the regulator under the settlement, and Mr. Musk to step down as the company's Chairman but remain CEO as part of the deal.

Nathan "may want to know why Tesla is paying a fine because the CEO doesn't know when to shut up", said Adam Pritchard, a University of MI law professor and former SEC lawyer.

Tesla also accepted a $20 million fine, despite not being charged with fraud.

The accord must still be approved by a judge and hasn't yet taken effect.

In other news, Consumer Reports said the Cadillac Super Cruise was the top-rated partially automated driving vehicle over Tesla because it does the best job of balancing high-tech capabilities with ensuring that the auto is operated safely and that the driver is paying attention.

Some Tesla directors have proposed that James Murdoch, fellow board member at the electric carmaker and chief executive officer of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O), succeed Elon Musk as its chairman, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing people involved in the board's discussions.

The SEC alleged that Musk hadn't locked up the estimated $25 billion to $50 billion that it would have required to pull off that deal, and wanted to punish him by forcing him out as Tesla's CEO.

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". In another tweet, he wrote, "What they do should be illegal".

"Mr. Musk has excellent attorneys", said Marc Leaf, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath in NY who used to work for the SEC as an adviser to a commissioner.

"The SEC stayed away [from] the broader corporate governance and management issues", Turner said.

"Elon Musk's erratic behavior suggests that he sees it the same way". Ryan White, an SEC spokesman, declined to comment.

Shares of Tesla closed down $12.97, or 4.4 percent, at $281.83, and fell another 2.1 percent to $276 following Musk's tweet after market hours. "It also bolsters the SEC argument that the motive for the false and misleading tweets about taking the company private was to thwart the short sellers".

Tesla did not immediately respond to request for comment about the latest tweet from Musk.

Shares of the company, down around 14 percent this year but still up nearly 30 percent since the start of 2017, were last down 6.9 percent at $262.63.

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