Judge rules Musk’s tweets over taking Tesla private were false, investors say -Breaking
By Hyunjoo Jin
SAN FRANCISCO, (Reuters) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk made false claims in 2018 that he had secured funding to privatize the company. According to lawsuits filed by Tesla investors over his tweets, a federal judge ruled the statements.
In the filing it was stated that Musk’s April 2018 tweets had been ruled false and misleading by the court on April 1. It stated that the court found Musk recklessly had made statements knowing their falsity.
In a Friday filing, investors asked for U.S. Circuit Court Judge Edward Chen to stop the famous entrepreneur from “public campaigns to present a contradiction and false narrative regarding 2018 tweets”.
Musk claimed on Thursday that funding had actually been secured in order to privatize Tesla. After being accused of making false statements and paying steep fines to U.S. securities regulators, Musk agreed to settle with them.
The court docket did not include the April 1 decision.
The investors will seek damages due to the tweets and the issues will play a central role in a jury trial scheduled for May.
Musk had “used his fame and notoriety in order to influence public opinion in Musk’s favor, wageing war in the press after being defeated in courtroom,” according to the filing.
Musk’s latest comments risk confusing potential jurors and prejudicing a jury decision on the amount of damages owed by Musk, it said.
Musk claims that the SEC harassed him and is trying to end his settlement.
Alex Spiro was a Musk lawyer who claimed that Musk had been considering privatizing Tesla in 2018. He also stated that he was able to finance that move. “All that’s left some half decade later is random plaintiffs’ lawyers trying to make a buck and others trying to block that truth from coming to light, all to the detriment of free speech,” he said.
In re Tesla Inc Securities Litigation. U.S. District Court Northern District of California. 18-04865.