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Elon Musk taunts SEC from Twitter account; Tesla shares fall

October 5, 2018

Tesla shares fell 5 percent Friday after CEO Elon Musk taunted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from his Twitter account, taking aim at the agency in the wake of reaching a multimillion dollar settlement surrounding a previous tweet.

“Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point!” Mr. Musk tweeted Thursday.

Shares in Tesla, Mr. Musk’s electric car company, fell more than 2 percent after hours following his tweet, and stocks were down by more than 5 percent as of mid-day Friday.

Regulators previously alleged that Mr. Musk committed securities fraud when he tweeted on Aug. 7 that he had secured funding to take Tesla private. Last month, they reached a $40 million settlement that would require the billionaire business magnate to relinquish his role as the company’s chairman.

A federal court judge earlier on Thursday asked both Tesla and the SEC for further details about the proposed settlement.

While the proposed settlement would allow Mr. Musk to continue serving as Tesla’s CEO and keep a seat on its board, the deal would also require the carmaker to put measures in place to keep him from tweeting about the company.

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