A US judge on Wednesday criticized Elon Musk for trying to avoid a settlement with regulators that required Tesla to monitor his tweets.
The controversy stems from the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) claim that Tesla chief executive Musk defrauded investors in August, when in fact this was not true.
Musk’s lawyers sought to overturn the 2018 consent decree that settled these fraud allegations, arguing that Musk’s finding of the regulator “crossed the line of persecution” and violated his constitutional right to free speech. stopped.
District Judge Lewis Liman dismissed those arguments, as well as tweeting about the sale of some of his Tesla shares last year to Musk’s request to block a separate SEC investigation.
“Musk can no longer attempt to void the agreement he intentionally and voluntarily regretted only that he felt he had to agree to it at the time, but now—since the ghost of litigation is a distant one.” The memory is there and has become his company, his almost unstoppable conjecture – I wish he hadn’t,” wrote Lyman.
The 2018 agreement required Musk and Tesla to each face civil fines of $20 million and Musk to step down as Tesla’s chairman. The consent decree requires Musk to have prior approval from Tesla’s attorneys for tweets and other public statements related to the automaker.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The SEC investigation into Musk’s sale of Tesla shares stemmed from his tweet in November last year asking readers whether he supported the sale of a 10% stake in Tesla, saying he would respect the election results. The SEC called on Musk and Tesla to determine whether these tweets were scrutinized before they were published.