The US Securities and Exchange Commission responded to Elon Musk’s request. In a letter it filed Friday with a New York federal judge, the SEC said its frequent check-ins with Tesla were consistent with the expectations of the court that oversaw the company’s 2018 settlement.
At the time, Tesla had agreed that its lawyers would clean up some of Musk’s tweets after one of his messages came to the attention of the SEC. the specific saw Musk say he had “funding guaranteed” to take Tesla private at $420 a share. After an investigation, the SEC claimed the message constituted fraud, with Tesla and Musk eventually agreeing to settle the case for $40 million.
But less than a year later, the SEC suspected that Musk had failed to live up to his end of the deal, according to . In 2019 and 2020, the agency’s lawyers wrote to Tesla to ask why some of Musk’s tweets about the company’s production numbers and stock price were not clarified by his lawyers. Tesla claimed that these statements were not covered by the settlement policy.
Tesla accused the SEC this week of using its resources to conduct “endless and unfounded investigations” into the company and its CEO. It also alleges that the regulator broke its promise to distribute the $40 million settlement to Tesla shareholders, a claim the SEC disputes. In the letter filed on Friday, the agency said it was working on a plan to pay shareholders and would have more details to share by March. As for the “endless” investigations, the agency said it “has sought to meet and speak with Tesla’s and Mr. Musk’s attorney to resolve any concerns about Tesla’s and Mr. Musk’s compliance.”
It’s unclear what happens now that the SEC has responded to Tesla’s allegations. The newspaper reports that US District Judge Alison Nathan asked the two sides to settle their dispute rather than press for the court to intervene in the matter.
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