BREAKING NEWS: Elon Musk did NOT violate federal securities law when he tweeted about taking Tesla private, jury finds
- Elon Musk won a major victory in court after a jury found he was not responsible for 2018 tweets about possibly taking Tesla private
- Musk has been accused of misleading investors when he tweeted he secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share
- Musk previously testified that Valor was not a marijuana joke
Elon Musk scored a major victory in the courtroom after a jury found he was not responsible for misleading investors in 2018 tweets about taking Tesla private.
On Friday afternoon, the nine-juror panel said investors in the class action case failed to prove they were misled by Tesla’s CEO.
In 2018, Musk tweeted that he had the funding to take Tesla private even though it turned out he hadn’t secured an ironclad commitment to a failed deal that would have cost between $20 billion and $70 billion. dollars.
The tweets sent Tela shares soaring for a 10-day period covered by the lawsuit before falling back after Musk scrapped a deal, based on evidence presented during the three-week trial.
Elon Musk, center, leaves a federal courthouse in San Francisco on Friday after a jury found he was not responsible for misleading investors in a 2018 tweet
The case centers on a tweet Musk sent in August 2018 in which he claimed funding was “secured” for a deal to take Tesla private.
Pictured: A court sketch of Musk awaiting the jury’s verdict on Friday
The infamous 2018 read, “I’m considering taking Tesla $420 privatized. Financing assured.
It was then followed by another tweet indicating that the transaction was imminent: “Investor support confirmed”. The only reason it’s not certain is that it depends on the vote of the shareholders.
Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney, admitted the 2018 tweets were “technically inaccurate”, but he told jurors: “Just because it’s a bad tweet doesn’t mean it’s wrong. ‘fraud”.
The final day of the trial was notable as Musk showed up in court, even though his presence was not legally required.
He sat stoically in court as he was vilified as a wealthy narcissist whose reckless behavior risks ‘lawlessness’, while his defense hailed him as a visionary in search of the ‘little guy’.
If jurors had decided the tweets misled investors, Musk and Tesla would have been liable for billions of dollars in damages.
Although his presence was not required, Musk still appeared in court after a four-year dispute with Tesla investors who claimed he had duped them.
Investors said Tesla’s value had changed due to tweets from Musks in 2018 saying he was going to take the company private at $420 a share.
Nicholas Porritt, an attorney for Tesla shareholders in the lawsuit, had urged jurors to berate Musk for his “loose relationship with the truth”.
“Our society is rule-based,” Porritt said. “We need rules to save us from anarchy. The rules should apply to Elon Musk like everyone else.
Glen Littleton, the plaintiff in the case, said he liquidated positions after Musks’ tweet because he believed Tesla was going private, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“It posed a threat to my livelihood,” Littleton told the court.
US District Judge Edward Chen, who presided over the trial, ruled last year that Musk’s 2018 tweets were false and asked the jury to view them that way.
A court sketch captures Elon Musk defending claims he misled investors with a 2018 tweet claiming Tesla could go private, with shares selling for $420 apiece
For about eight hours on the stand earlier in the trial, Musk insisted he believed he had raised the funds from the Saudi Public Investment Fund to take Tesla private after eight years as a public company.
He defended his initial August 2018 tweet as well-intentioned and aimed at ensuring that all Tesla investors know the automaker may be on the verge of ending its run as a public company.
“I had no bad motive,” Musk said. “My intention was to do the right thing for all shareholders.”
Following the impact of Musks’ tweet on the stock in 2018, he was quickly forced to step down as executive chairman of Tesla and pay millions of dollars in fines and legal fees.