A San Francisco jury has handed Elon Musk a big win in court by finding the Tesla CEO not liable in a class action securities fraud case.
The trial was related to tweets he made in 2018.
A jury rejected investor claims that Musk violated federal securities law when he tweeted about taking Tesla Inc. private.
The nine-person jury said the investors failed to prove that Musk hurt them by saying he had the funding secured to take the car maker private.
Musk said in 2018: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
“Investor support is confirmed.
“Only reason why this is not certain is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote.”
Flash — @elonmusk found not liable for “funding secured” tweet. pic.twitter.com/69sYLoixlg
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 3, 2023
Musk paid $20 million in 2018 to settle a securities-fraud charge brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the same statements in what should now be considered more government overreach.
Investors sued Musk, claiming his posts were untrue and that they lost billions because of them.
“This represented a threat to my livelihood,” Glen Littleton, the lead plaintiff, said.
Musk appeared in court and disputed the claims.
“I was trying my best to keep shareholders informed and ensure that all shareholders had the same information,” Musk told jurors, saying he believed he had the financing sewed up tight.
“He doesn’t think ahead of time in that rushed moment that this could be interpreted differently and what it means to him,” Musk’s attorney told the jury.
“In that moment he didn’t think, ‘how could my words be interpreted differently by you than it means to me.’”
“You have to assess this in context – he’s considering taking it private and the issue is will it actually take it forward,” Musk’s attorney said.
“No fraud has ever been built on the back of a consideration.”
BREAKING: Elon Musk found not liable in federal trial over “Funding secured” tweet. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/8T0eBx0rBZ
— DogeDesigner (@cb_doge) February 3, 2023