I want to be free. Judge’s refusal to overturn oversight agreement with SEC on Elon Musk’s tweets is appealed by the Tesla CEO
Elon Musk has appealed a judge’s refusal to end his 2018 oversight agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Reuters reported that Musk will ask the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to overturn the 27 April decision by US District Judge Lewis Liman, allowing his consent decree with the SEC to stand.
The issue began back in August 2018, Musk out of the blue tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private and that he had secured funding to do so.
Those privatisation tweets brought Musk to the attention of the SEC, which accused Musk of securities fraud, and alleged he made a series of “false and misleading” tweets about potentially taking Tesla private.
Indeed, the SEC sued Tesla and sought to ban Elon Musk from acting as an officer or director of a publicly traded company.
In the end, the US financial regulator forced Musk to step down as chairman of Tesla and pay $20m in penalties.
Musk however was allowed to retain the CEO role.
Since then, Musk has had to submit any public statements (including tweets) about the company’s finances to vetting by Tesla’s legal counsel before publishing them.
In February this year Musk accused the US financial regulator of ‘unrelenting harassment’ after it flagged his tweet poll asking the public if he should acquire 10 percent of Twitter.
In March Musk asked a US judge to terminate the 2018 agreement with the SEC, but in April Judge Liman rejected Musk’s arguments, finding it “wholly unpersuasive” that Musk, already one of the world’s richest people in 2018, settled to avoid economic duress.
Reuters reported that the judge said Musk cannot escape the decree by “bemoaning that he felt like he had to agree to it at the time but now – once the spectre of the litigation is a distant memory and his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible – wishes that he had not.”