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

Kanye West performs during the World AIDS Day concert In Times Square in New York on Dec. 1 2014.					Charles Sykes The Canadian Press via AP

Kanye West performs during the World AIDS Day concert In Times Square in New York on Dec. 1 2014. Charles Sykes The Canadian Press via AP

The SEC declined Business Insider's request for comment.

Tesla and the SEC declined requests for comment. "This hurts shareholders worse than the SEC".

About 40 minutes later, he doubled-down on the tweet and apologized for the typo in the original post. "Why would they be upset about their mission?"

It later emerged in court documents filed by the SEC that while investors had briefly discussed the possibility, no funding had been secured and the figure Mr Musk suggested was a reference to April 20, a day celebrated by fans of marijuana, a drug that is legal in California but banned in the United Kingdom and several other USA states.

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.

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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.

The tweet came five days after Musk settled SEC charges that he misled investors in tweets on August 7, including that there was "funding secured" to take his Palo Alto, California-based company private at $420 per share. The company's board reportedly hasn't had any serious discussions on who will replace Musk, but some board members have thrown their support behind James Murdoch who is the son of Rupert Murdoch and the CEO of 21st Century Fox.

Earlier Thursday, FOX Business' Charlie Gasparino reported that the SEC continues to investigate the electric-car maker over possible misstatements related to production and profitability targets.

Musk said in a company statement last week that he was "deeply saddened and disappointed" by the lawsuit, which he described as "unjustified". Contact this reporter at [email protected].

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