jury :Back Elon Musk ‘s innocence in Tesla tweet trial
A US jury has found Elon Musk not guilty of defrauding Tesla Inc investors when he tweeted in 2018 that he was considering taking the company private and had “funding secured” to make the deal happen.
Elon Musk hailed the jury after the conviction and stated on Twitter, “Thank heavens, the people’s wisdom has won! I am grateful for the jury’s unanimous verdict of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.”
Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2023
I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.
Musk was sued by shareholders who claimed he acted irresponsibly in an attempt to squeeze investors who had bet against the company.
After hours of deliberation in a San Francisco courtroom, the jury unanimously determined that neither Musk nor the Tesla board committed fraud with the tweets and their aftermath.
The jury rejected charges that the CEO of the electric car maker breached securities rules and should be fined billions of dollars.
The court’s decision is a setback for shareholders who sought to recuperate trading losses caused by changes in Tesla stock after Musk tweeted the remarks. Musk abandoned his proposal to take Tesla private roughly two weeks after his initial comments.
At the trial, Musk’s integrity was at issue, as well as a portion of his income, which has placed him as one of the world’s wealthiest people. If the jury held him guilty for the 2018 tweets, which had already been judged fraudulent by the judge presiding over the trial, he could have been hit with a bill for billions of dollars in damages.
During the three-week trial, Musk spoke for nearly nine hours, assuring jurors that he believed the tweets were true. He claimed to have secured the necessary funds, including a verbal promise from Saudi Arabia’s national wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Musk claimed that the fund later reneged on its agreement.
Musk later testified that he believed he could have sold enough SpaceX stock to fund a buyout, and that he “felt funding was secured” with SpaceX stock alone.
Musk stated that he sent the tweets to put small shareholders on the same level as major investors who were aware of the arrangement. He did, however, admit that he lacked official pledges from the Saudi fund and other potential donors.
He said that his tweets did not always have the desired effect on Tesla shares.
“Just because I tweet something does not guarantee that others would believe it or act on it,” Musk told the jurors.