The tweet in which Elon Musk claimed in 2018 to have sufficient funding to take Tesla out of the stock market was considered “false and misleading” by a judge, according to a document filed by investors who filed a complaint against the group.
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These investors filed a lawsuit against the electric car maker and Elon Musk, accusing them of losing money after the publication of this tweet which caused the stock to falter for a few days.
They claim in the document filed on Friday and consulted on Saturday by AFP that the judge in charge of the case order Elon Musk to stop publicly affirming that he had indeed “secured the financing” to withdraw the group from the Stock Exchange. 420 dollars per share, as he did again at a conference on Thursday.
Mr. Musk has assured in the past that he was at the time in discussions with the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia and that he was confident of the outcome of these negotiations. But no deal was ever announced.
According to the document filed by the investors, the judge recently concluded, in an undisclosed partial decision, that “these assertions by Musk were false and misleading and that Musk made these false statements recklessly and with full knowledge of the facts that ‘he distorted in his tweets’.
The plaintiffs believe Musk embarked on a public campaign “to present a contradictory and false version” of the tweet in question, which could sway jurors in a trial due to take place in May.
The American stock market policeman, believing that Mr. Musk had not provided proof of his financing, had also filed a complaint at the time.
The regulator then forced him to hand over the chairmanship of Tesla’s board of directors, pay a $20 million fine and subsequently required that his tweets directly related to Tesla’s business be pre-approved by a competent lawyer. Elon Musk, who is currently looking to buy Twitter, challenged the latest move in court in early March.