As part of a settlement agreement, Tesla and Musk agreed to pay a $20 million fine, Musk had to give up his role as chairman at Tesla for three years and agreed not to claim innocence or deny the SEC’s allegations. Musk and Tesla also committed to have the CEO’s tweets vetted by a securities lawyer before posting them if they contained material business information that could effect Tesla’s share price.
Tornetta’s lawyers asked Musk if he had a securities lawyer review all his tweets about Tesla and why he had been claiming innocence including in press interviews. Musk seemed to acknowledge that he doesn’t run all of his Tesla-related tweets by a lawyer first.
And he said, “The consent decree was made under duress. An agreement made under duress is not valid, as a foundation of law.”
At a time when Tesla shares were on a massive upswing, Musk had written in a tweet on July 2, 2020: “SEC, three letter acronym, middle word is Elon’s.” The message was widely read as having a vulgar meaning and comprising a major insult to the agency.
On Wednesday in the Delaware court, attorneys asked him about this tweet and Musk claimed it had been widely misunderstood. The Tesla CEO said in court that he meant the initials to stand for “Save Elon’s Company” but the tweet was “interpreted differently.”
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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