Updated Feb 4, 2023 - Economy

Elon Musk wins securities fraud case over 2018 tweet

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

A San Francisco jury on Friday found Elon Musk and Tesla not liable in a trial over a 2018 tweet in which Musk wrote that he had “funding secured” to take the electric carmaker private..

Why it matters: This is a victory for Musk, who has openly pushed back on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's argument that he broke the law (and imposed a number of sanctions on him).

  • “Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed,” Musk said.
  • “I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case,” he added.

The big picture: Musk has played fast and loose with his business-related tweets over the years — at times getting away with claiming they're just social media posts, and at times getting in trouble with the law.

Flashback: In August 2018, Musk tweeted that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

  • Musk has since claimed (including during the trial in a San Francisco federal court) that he believed Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had committed to back the effort, and that more broadly securing capital wouldn't be a barrier in any case.
  • Still, investors sued him and Tesla for fraud, alleging that he knowingly or recklessly made the public claims, and cause them investment losses.

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