Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Theresa May soldiers on; Israel political turmoil; France fuel protests

Read more

FOCUS

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Art Deco: France's love affair with the Roaring Twenties

Read more

#THE 51%

India's vanishing women workers

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: An outside view of France's Fifth Republic

Read more

#TECH 24

Audrey Tang: A hacker-turned-minister in Taiwan

Read more

ENCORE!

The Land of the Rising Sun comes to La République

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

UK car industry says draft Brexit deal is 'positive step'

Read more

Business

US regulator charges Elon Musk with fraud

© David McNew, AFP | Elon Musk at the SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California on September 17, 2018.

Video by Alyssa CAVERLY

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-09-28

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday charged Tesla CEO Elon Musk with securities fraud, alleging he misled investors last month in tweets about taking the company private.

Musk tweeted August 7 that he had "funding secured" to privatize the electric automaker at $420 a share, causing a brief spike in Tesla's share price.

The SEC said Musk's statements on Twitter were "false and misleading" and that he had never discussed the plans with company officials or potential funders.

Musk later said he later decided against the plan.

But Musk quickly rejected the SEC's allegations on Thursday, calling the charges baseless and vowing to defend himself.

"This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed," Musk said in a statement.

"I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way."

Tesla expressed support for Musk on Thursday, saying the company and the board of directors "are fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership."

The SEC's charges pose a potentially devastating threat to Musk's future as an entrepreneur, as the agency is seeking fines and the return of ill-gotten gains, as well as potentially barring him from ever serving as an officer or board member of a publicly-traded company.

'As firm as it gets'

Stephanie Avakian, the SEC's co-director of enforcement, told reporters that Musk knew his statements lacked any basis in fact.

The Tesla CEO "had not even discussed key deal terms, including price with any potential source of funding," she said at a news conference.

The charges were a fresh blow to the embattled silicon valley entrepreneur and his company, which has been buffeted in recent months, struggling to reach production targets.

Musk has baffled investors with emotional and seemingly erratic media appearances, including one where he appeared to smoke marijuana, and a public battle with a rescuer who helped save a group of boys trapped in a cave in Thailand.

Steven Peikin, SEC co-director of enforcement, told reporters Thursday that Tesla's investor relations department had scrambled to contain the fallout from Musk's tweets, falsely assuring investors the matter was effectively a done deal.

"The investor relations department told analysts that there was a quote firm offer, and that quote -- the offer is as firm as it gets," Peikin said.

Tesla's share price closed up nearly 11 percent the day of the tweet -- which caused the Nasdaq to suspend trading for an hour and a half.

The company's fortunes on Wall Street worsened considerably Thursday, sinking about 10 percent in after-hours trading to $277.50, down 25 percent since the day of the go-private tweet.

(AFP)

Date created : 2018-09-28

  • SPACE TRAVEL

    SpaceX's Elon Musk plans ‘fun’ trips to Mars

    Read more

  • USA

    Tesla driver's death on 'Autopilot' triggers safety debate

    Read more

  • UNITED STATES

    Tesla delivers first units of long-awaited, mass market Model 3

    Read more

COMMENT(S)