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US SEC raps Musk for violating pact via tweets

San Francisco, March 19 (IANS) The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again pulled up Tesla CEO Elon Musk for blatantly violating a settlement pact reached last year over securities fraud allegations.

The SEC said in a statement on Monday that Musk, who is supposed to get approval from Tesla’s board before communicating company information to investors via Twitter, has constantly been violating the agreement, TechCrunch reported.

The US SEC in February asked a US federal judge to hold Musk in contempt for violating the settlement deal.

The development came in response to Musk’s tweet on February 19 that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500K in 2019”.

Hours later, the billionaire sent a follow-up tweet indicating that the company will actually deliver just 400,000 cars this year.

Musk tweeted on February 19 that Tesla would produce “around” 500,000 cars this year, correcting later to clarify that the company would actually produce at an annualized rate of 500,000 vehicles by year end.

“The SEC told a judge on Monday that Musk has regularly published substantive information about Tesla and its business in tweets, beyond the February 19 instance,” the report noted.

The SEC pointed to tweets about “Tesla vehicle tax credits and pricing, vehicle maintenance costs, plans for expansion of charging stations internationally, the EPA rating of Tesla vehicles, construction and production plans for a new Shanghai factory, and the results of government safety testing of Tesla vehicles as evidence of Musk’s non compliance”.

In August 2018, the US SEC filed a lawsuit against Musk after he tweeted that he was considering taking the company private.

Musk and Tesla later settled with the SEC. Tesla agreed to pay a $20 million fine and Musk stepped down as Tesla Chairman for at least three years.

–IANS

na/ksk

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CanIndia New Wire Service

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