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Elon Musk, Tesla Attack SEC for ‘Unrelenting’ Harassment

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Tesla Inc. TSLA.O and CEO Elon Musk on Thursday accused the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of harassing them with an “endless” and “relentless” investigation to punish Musk for being a fraudster. outspoken criticism of the government.

The accusations were made in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, who presided over a settlement with the SEC in 2018 stemming from Musk’s tweets about a potential Tesla acquisition.

“Mr. Mr. Alex Spiro, an attorney for Musk and Tesla, wrote. “Enough is enough.”

The SEC declined to comment.

Thursday’s letter escalates Musk’s battle with regulators as they scrutinize his social media posts and Tesla’s treatment of workers, including allegations of discrimination. discrimination.

According to Tesla’s disclosure on February 7 that it received a subpoena from the SEC for compliance with the 2018 settlement.

The SEC sued Musk in August 2018 after he tweeted that he was “funding secured” to potentially take his electric car company private for $420 per share. In fact, a buy wave is not close.

Tesla and Musk settled by agreeing to pay a $20 million civil penalty and have Tesla’s attorney pre-screen some of Musk’s communications, including tweets that could affect the stock price. of Tesla. Musk also stepped down as Tesla chairman.

The latest subpoena was issued on November 16, ten days after Musk polled his Twitter followers on whether he should sell his 10% Tesla stake. causing a sell-off.

In Thursday’s letter, Spiro accused the SEC of ignoring its pledge to distribute $40 million in fines to shareholders, while instead “dending its terrible resources to unfounded investigations , endless” about Musk and Tesla.

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“Worst of all, the SEC seems to be targeting Mr. Musk and Tesla for a relentless investigation largely because Mr. Musk remains an outspoken critic of the government; The SEC’s overwhelming efforts appear to be calculated to chill his enforcement of First Amendment rights,” Spiro wrote.

Spiro asked Nathan to schedule a meeting to find out why the SEC “unilaterally issued subpoenas” without court approval and why the funds were not distributed.

The letter was filed eight days after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Tesla over allegations by black workers that the company tolerated racial discrimination at its Fremont, California factory.

Tesla has called that lawsuit a mistake. It is also trying to reduce or award a jury award of about $137 million to a former Black elevator operator for forcing him into a hostile work environment at the Fremont factory.

The cases are SEC v Musk, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, number 18-08865; and SEC v Tesla Inc in the same court, number 18-08947.

(Reporting by Jody Godoy and Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Potter)

Photo: Elon Musk, Tesla President, Product Architect and CEO, 2015. (AP Photo / Paul Sancya)

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