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Musk mocks SEC on Twitter as judge mulls fraud settlement

The Hill logo The Hill 10/4/2018 Sylvan Lane
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday mocked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Twitter as a federal judge mulls whether to approve his settlement with the regulator over fraud charges.

"Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work. And the name change is so on point," Musk tweeted Thursday afternoon, riffing on the name of the financial markets watchdog.

Musk's tweeted his shot at the SEC hours after a federal judge in Southern District of New York asked the agency to justify a settlement reached with the CEO last weekend. Musk agreed to step down as chairman of Tesla and pay $20 million in fines to the SEC to settle fraud charges.

Musk has long had an antagonistic relationship with investors and Wall Street at large, once berating analysts during a Tesla earnings call. He frequently blasts Tesla's short-sellers, investors who bet against Tesla's share price, and compares them to parasites.

Tesla stock dropped 2 percent in the overnight market after falling 4 percent during trading Thursday.

Musk landed in trouble with the SEC when he tweeted in August that he had secured a deal to take Telsa private for $4.20 a share. In reality, Musk never finalized such an agreement and said the price he cited was a reference to marijuana.

The SEC filed charges against Musk in September, claiming he mislead and harmed investors with his tweet in blatant violation of securities law. The agency sought to oust Musk from Tesla and bar him from serving as an office of any publicly traded company.

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