Tesla CEO Elon Musk accuses SEC of leaking information
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TeslaElon Musk’s attorney alleged that the Securities and Exchange Commission leaked information concerning a federal investigation to counter public criticism of the Federal Financial Regulators.
In a letter on Monday to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, Musk attorney Alex Spiro wrote: “It has become clearer and clearer that the Commission is out to retaliate against my clients for exercising their First Amendment rights—most recently by criticizing the Commission on the public docket and by petitioning this Court for relief.”
Musk had initially claimed that Musk was claiming the letter four days earlier. SEC was engaged in harassmentBy constantly investigating him, the agency tried to silence his free speech rights and neglected its duties to pay $40m to shareholders. TeslaMusk has previously been fined for securities fraud.
Spiro didn’t specify the type or investigation that led to information being leaked by SEC and who it may have come from. Spiro claimed in the letter that at most one SEC member had leaked information about its investigation, without supporting evidence.
Spiro was not available for comment immediately. SEC didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.
Musk’s conflict with the SEC started in September 2018, when Musk was charged by the SEC for making misleading statements to investors. TwitterIn August, he was able to secure enough funds for an enormous private purchase of Tesla. It cost $420 per share. Musk said that the deal was never realized because of the stock’s volatility.
Musk and Tesla both had to pay $20m each in fines. Musk also had to be removed as chairman of the board for at most three years under a revised settlement agreement that the agency struck with Tesla in 2019. Tesla also had to put in place a system for monitoring Musk’s statements to the public about the company — whether on Twitter, in a blog post or any other medium.
Steven Buchholz, the SEC’s Steven Buchholz responded to the earlier allegations on FridayShe said the agency actually made significant progress towards disbursing the $40m to shareholders. The task was complex, he said. He also noted that Tesla had not previously expressed concern over remittances. He wrote that the SEC staff expected to submit to the court a “proposed distribution plan” by March 2022.
Buchholz stated, also that Nathan and the revised settlement agreements called for continued communication with Tesla. If Musk objects to any subpoena, his attorneys should make a new motion. A federal statute provides a completely different method of objecting to subpoenas.
Tesla stated in its 2021 fourth-quarter earnings reports that the SEC issued a subpoena to the companyIn November 2021. Tesla filed a quarterly report stating that the agency seeks information about its “governance process around compliance with SEC Settlement, as amended.”
Spiro provided details regarding the subpoena in a Monday letter. Spiro wrote that the Commission demanded specific documents regarding my clients’ compliance or non-compliance to Tesla’s disclosure controls, procedures, executive communication policy, and other policies or procedures related to public statements by Tesla executives or communications made by them.
He claimed that the SEC had issued another subpoena, however similar to Musk.
Musk had just asked his millions of followers on Twitter if they wanted to sell 10% of their Tesla stake. Their votes were unanimous. Musk’s September 2021 plan was responsible for a large portion of sales following the Twitter poll.