Elon Musk wins securities fraud lawsuit over 2018 Tesla tweet
Elon Musk said the “wisdom of the people has prevailed” after he was found not liable for Tesla investors’ losses after his now infamous “funding secured” tweet.
The jury in the case returned its verdict after two hours of deliberations and found shareholders had failed to prove Mr.Musk’s tweets about the company had made them lose billions.
After the announcement, the billionaire tweeted: “Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!”
The securities fraud trial was brought to court after a 2018 tweet by Musk when he said Tesla was going private for $420 a share and later added he had Saudi investors’ backing.
But the deal never materialized, taking a toll on the automaker’s stock value.
After Musk’s Tesla-go private tweet, its shares soared 11 percent, reaching $387.46 that day.
But when he backpedaled, the price dropped below their pre-tweet price of $344, hitting $263.24 after a month.
The plaintiffs, who include several Tesla shareholders, sought monetary damages from Musk, the automaker, and its directors in their suit.
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Nicholas Porritt, the lawyer for investors, said: “We are disappointed with the verdict and examining next steps.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency responsible for protecting investors by pushing CEOs to tell the truth, also filed a civil suit in response to Musk’s tweet.
It originally attempted to depose him as Tesla’s CEO.
Eventually, Musk and Tesla reached a settlement with the agency by paying $20 million in fines.
Musk quit his position as chairman of the company but held the CEO title.