Musk’s tweet cost investors millions, jury told

Elon Musk misled Tesla shareholders when he tweeted in 2018 about taking the “funded” company private, and investor lawyers said he was on the jury in the CEO’s securities fraud trial. told to

“His lies cost ordinary people like Glenn Littleton millions of dollars,” attorney Nicholas Porritt said in opening arguments Wednesday, referring to class action plaintiffs. “It’s important that he is arrested and the company held accountable,” Politt said, in order for the company to operate properly and fairly.

In an address to the jury, Musk’s lead attorney, Alex Spiro, said that Musk’s intention to keep Tesla private was “indisputably true” and that Twitter’s message was “substantial to the market.” It wasn’t important to me,” he countered.

Spiro said fundraising to take Tesla private was not an issue, explaining that Musk was “serious” about taking the company private but used “the wrong words.” He said the only real obstacle is getting shareholder approval for a deal structure that protects Tesla shareholders.

The duel argument set the stage for a two-week trial in San Francisco federal court that will test the billionaire entrepreneur’s credibility.

As a star witness, Musk is expected to testify that his short-term plans to take Tesla private have been solid based on discussions with the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund. It summoned the governor of the kingdom’s private investment fund to testify at the trial, but withdrew the request after Yasir al-Rumayyan’s lawyers argued he was legally obliged to appear.

Porritt notes that Musk didn’t actually go through what was supposed to be a $60 billion deal, and that the first tweet about taking Tesla private on August 7, 2018 at $420 a share was Tesla’s was sent without prior notice to the board of directors of

Plaintiffs’ attorneys said Tesla’s stock price “exploded” after the tweet and investor reaction halted trading, and showed jurors a spike in the graph. new york times The lawyer published an Aug. 16 article containing an interview with Musk, saying it confirmed the tweet was empty, adding that the private plan was publicly withdrawn by Musk on Aug. 23. .

Spiro defended Musk’s actions, saying, “The inaccuracies and ambiguities of the tweets were not important to the market. He was actively pursuing Twitter private.”

“This was not a scam, nor even close to it,” he said.

A lawyer for the CEO told jurors that by August 7, Musk had spoken to investors in Michael Dell, Silver Lake Management and Goldman Sachs Group. “Mr. Musk was doing his homework,” said Spiro, who said during the conversation that while the structure of the deal to take Tesla private may have been unique, funding was not the issue. Told.

Spiro said the Saudi investment fund had heard nothing about his intentions. “He didn’t have to talk to them,” he said. On the morning of August 7, Saudi Arabia broke the news that it had acquired a major stake in Tesla. financial timeshe said, adding that Musk’s tweet was a reaction to the news.

Spiro called the tweet about what Musk was thinking a “thought bubble” and said it was an effort to spread the “state of play” to the world. knows it.”

Spiro said the tweet contained “technical inaccuracies,” but Musk is concerned that some investors know about his plans to go private, and he wanted to “protect” and “daily shareholder” information.

The lawsuit, a rare securities class action trial, sees Musk and his company defying the norm of resolving claims that clear high legal hurdles, and Musk himself is expected to stand up as early as this week. It could be a dramatic trial.

A nine-member jury will decide whether, and if so, how much, the tweet artificially inflated Tesla’s stock price by highlighting the deal’s financing.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, who is overseeing the trial, ruled that Musk’s statements about the circumstances of the deal were false and that Musk acted recklessly.

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