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

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Mr Musk, chief executive of Tesla, described the SEC as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" hours after a federal judge ordered him and the agency to justify how they arrived at their settlement.

The settlement last Saturday was meant to resolve charges that Musk misled investors in tweets on 7 August, including that there was "funding secured" to take his Palo Alto, California-based company private at $420 per share.

Musk reached a settlement with the SEC in September, in which he agreed to step down as the chairman of Tesla's board and pay a $20 million fine, in addition to other penalties and mandated changes levied at the company. Tesla didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Part of Musk's settlement from last week is an agreement to reign in his tweeting habits. "Why would they be upset about their mission?"

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The SEC sued him last week, accusing him of misleading investors and pushing to ban him from running any public company. The company has declined to provide detail in recent days over what those controls would entail.

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.

"It is the essence of free speech".

'I do not think there is any serious chance of the settlement being rejected, based on 2nd Circuit precedent, ' Pritchard added.

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FBN's Charlie Gasparino on how the SEC is investigating Tesla and CEO Elon Musk's stated production goals for the Model 3.

While Musk wanted to fight the SEC, he reportedly had a change of heart when Tesla's stock plummeted almost 14 percent after the lawsuit was announced.

Shares of Tesla closed down 4.4% at $281.83, and fell another 2.2% after market hours following Musk's tweet.

"The court has a duty to ensure the proposed consent judgement is "fair and reasonable", Judge Nathan wrote in the order.

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