(Getty)
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • The SEC's complaint alleges that Musk made a "series of false and misleading statements" on Twitter.
  • The complaint is centred around four tweets that Musk sent on August 7, announcing that funding had been secured to take Tesla private at $420 per share.
  • "In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source," the SEC stated in the complaint.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been named as the sole defendant in a lawsuit filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commision on Thursday.

The suit, filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, is centered around a "series of false and misleading statements" made by Elon Musk.

See also: US regulators say Elon Musk manipulated Tesla’s share price with a dagga reference to amuse his girlfriend

Tesla was not named as a party in the complaint.

The SEC alleges that Musk "falsely indicated" on Twitter that "funding was secured" for a deal to take the company private at $420, which was more than 20% higher than the company's trading price at the time.

"In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source," the SEC said in the complaint.

According to the SEC, these statements and omissions "caused significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock and resulting harm to investors."

Tesla's stock price and trading volume skyrocketed in the wake of Musk's tweets.

The SEC's complaint points to four specific tweets by Musk.

The first tweet in question was posted by Musk at 12:48 p.m. on August 7, stating: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured."

Over the next few hours, Musk followed up by posting three more tweets containing what the SEC calls "additional materially false and misleading statements."

At 2:00 p.m., the Tesla CEO tweeted "My hope is *all* current investors remain with Tesla even if we're private. Would create special purpose fund enabling anyone to stay with Tesla. Already do this with Fidelity's SpaceX investment."

At 2:13 p.m., Musk followed with: "Shareholders could either to sell at 420 or hold shares & go private."

At 3:36 p.m., Musk tweeted, "Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it's contingent on a shareholder vote."

"This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed," Elon Musk said in a statement to Business Insider on Thursday. "I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.

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