A US court acquitted Elon Musk of defrauding Tesla shareholders

An American court acquitted billionaire Elon Musk of fraud charges after he tweeted about Tesla electric car shares, in which he confirmed that he had obtained "guaranteed financing" to turn the company into a private entity and cancel its shares on the stock exchange.

Musk faced a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the company's shareholders, who claimed his tweets misled them in August 2018.

It is noteworthy that this proposed deal, which at the time amounted to $ 72 billion, did not materialize on the ground.

A US court acquitted Elon Musk of defrauding Tesla
A US court acquitted Elon Musk of defrauding Tesla shareholders

The owner of Tesla and Twitter could have paid billions of dollars in damages to shareholders of the electric car giant if the jury in the San Francisco court found him liable for alleged misinformation by investors.

And it took less than two hours to discuss the case from 9 jurors until they reached the verdict of Musk's innocence.

The main subject of the lawsuit was a tweet he made on August 7, 2018, which stated that he was considering converting Tesla from a joint stock company to a private company, for $ 420 a share, and that he had “secured financing.”

Prosecutors also alleged that Musk lied when he posted another tweet the day after the first was posted, in which he indicated that "investor support is certain" for the deal.

Tesla's stock rose significantly after the two tweets, but fell again a few days later, as it became clear that the deal would not take place.

Investor losses at that time were estimated at about $12 billion, according to an economist working for the shareholders who were suing Elon Musk.

It is noteworthy that the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk and Tesla because of these tweets, accusing the billionaire of lying to investors. The two parties to the judicial dispute reached a settlement that includes paying the company and its owner a fine of 20 million pounds each.

Musk's defense, during the three-week trial, included that he had an oral commitment from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund to finance the deal.

"It doesn't mean that I wrote a tweet that people should believe it or act accordingly," said the owner of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, while standing on the witness stand for about nine hours.

During closing arguments, Musk sat listening to the team of lawyers suing him on behalf of Tesla shareholders paint a picture of him in court and talk about his practices in the market.

"Our society is built on rules," Nicholas Porritt, an attorney for the shareholders, said. "We need those rules to save us from chaos and apply to Elon Musk as much as anyone else."


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