Elon Musk is in trouble with the SEC over his tweets-again

Elon Musk is in trouble with the SEC over his tweets-again

Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk laid into the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission again on Tuesday, after it accused the Tesla Inc chief executive officer of violating the terms of a settlement previous year of fraud charges against him.

Tesla has not yet responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation's request for comment.

Last week the Tesla CEO - who has been banned from tweeting about anything that can impact markets and/or his publicly traded company without approval from Tesla - just couldn't help himself.

Musk agreed to having future tweets that could affect Tesla's stock be pre-approved.

Musk and Tesla's settlements with the SEC were an outgrowth of his infamous tweets last August that he had "funding secured" for taking the electric-car maker private at a price of $US420 a share. Later, Mr Musk clarified to say the company's annualised production rate at end of the year would probably be around 500,000.

Should the judge accede to the SEC's demand and find Musk in contempt, he might receive a much stiffer penalty than the $20 million fine he was forced to pay as part of his settlement, which allowed him to avoid admitting guilt to an offense.

Analysts said the renewal of the public battle between Musk and the top USA securities regulator will be an overhang on Tesla's stock, which has lost about one-quarter of its value since peaking in August.

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This tracks with the SEC's allegations that Musk didn't seek legal approval for the February 19 tweet, which was apparently confirmed with Tesla's legal counsel on February 22.

So while Musk tweeted that Tesla would produce 500,000 cars in 2019, what he really meant was that Tesla would reach an annualized production rate of 500,000 cars by the end of 2019-a clarification Musk tweeted out a few hours after his initial tweet.

Allegations that Musk broke the agreement by tweeting without company approval could renew a debate about whether he has become too reckless to continue as Tesla's CEO. The agency wrote letters to Musk and Tesla asking whether Musk had gotten his tweet pre-approved as required by the settlement.

The company was probed by the US Justice Department, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a civil investigation.

The SEC also pointed out that during the same interview, Musk declared: 'I want to be clear.

The SEC added that Musk's claim to be restating comments in the call "is not credible" because the information in the two missives was "obviously different".

Musk provoked the SEC even after the settlement was signed, calling the agency the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" on Twitter in October. A legal document filed in the Southern District of NY asks a judge to hold Musk in contempt of court for the February 19 tweet.

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