SEC hounds Elon Musk after another misleading Tesla tweet

A Century Before Elon Musk's Tesla Electric Cars Were Popular In Cities

SEC asks judge to hold Tesla chief Elon Musk in contempt for violating deal

Late on Monday it emerged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked a federal court in NY to hold Mr Musk in contempt for violating a 40 million-dollar (£30m) settlement he reached with the United States stock market's chief regulatory agency five months ago.

In a court filing on Monday, the regulator pointed to a Musk Feb. 19 tweet: "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019", noting that Musk did not seek or receive preapproval before publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people. What Musk's tweet actually said-500,000 cars produced in 2019-wasn't accurate.

The SEC cites the message tweeted by Musk on February 19 about Tesla's plans to manufacture 500,000 vehicles this year.

The SEC filed suit alleging Musk had mislead investors.

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"Funding secured." The settlement required Musk and Tesla each to pay a $20 million fine.

Mr Musk initially contended that he had not done anything wrong before reluctantly agreeing to have future tweets that could affect Tesla's stock be pre-approved.

Tesla shares were already down 10 percent this year through the close of regular trading Monday.

In that interview, Musk revealed that no one at Tesla was screening the tweets he posts to his account, which now has 25 million followers. The exact wording of the pre-approved tweets rule states, "implement mandatory procedures and controls to oversee all of Elon Musk's communications regarding the Company made in any format", according to Wired.

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Last week Tesla CEO Elon Musk couldn't contain himself - he had to tweet about his electric vehicle company and how many cars it would make by the end of the year. However, this could still be taken as a violation due to the information having potential material outcome to Tesla shareholders. "Who knows? ... Nobody's ideal". For all the reasons stated, the SEC respectfully requests that the Court enter an order to show cause why Defendant Elon Musk should not be held in contempt of the Court's October 16, 2018 Final Judgment.

The SEC quoted this exchange in its new filing against Musk, arguing that it demonstrates that Musk never made a serious effort comply with the terms of the settlement.

And in a December interview with CBS's "60 Minutes", Musk said he did not have respect for the SEC.

Musk went on to say that "I do not respect the SEC ..."

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Now it's up to the justice system to decide whether to take Musk to task over an ill-turned tweet.

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