Elon Musk found not guilty of fraud for a tweet about Tesla shares
A jury found that he had done nothing wrong
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Elon Musk leaves federal court in San Francisco (AP Photo/Benjamin Fanjoy )
Elon Musk was found not guilty of fraud Friday by a California jury in a trial over tweets he posted in 2018 saying he was taking his company Tesla out of business. stock market.
Those tweets sent Tesla's stock price on a rollercoaster ride, and Musk was sued by shareholders who said the tycoon acted recklessly in an effort to squeeze investors who had bet against the company.
The jury retired to deliberate immediately after hearing closing arguments from both sides at the close of a trial that has dragged on for three weeks.
“This case is about whether the rules that apply to everyone should also apply to Elon Musk,” said Nicholas Porritt, a lawyer representing investors who say they have lost billions of dollars because of the ups and downs that Musk's tweets caused in Tesla's price.
Porritt insisted on the argument that the tycoon lied when in August 2018 he said on Twitter that he had the possibility of removing Tesla from the stock market having secured financing to carry out the operation and only lacking a shareholder vote.
The judge in the case, < b>Edward Chen, has already taken for granted that these statements were false and misleading, but the jury was left to determine if it was those messages that affected Tesla's price, the possible intent of Musk and the cost they had for the plaintiffs.
On the other side, the Defense attorney Alex Spiro insisted that Musk did not lie at any time and that at least part of the changes in the company's stock price could have been due to other factors. .
Musk himself testified throughout the trial to ensure that he did have enough capital to take the company public thanks to commitments from the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and his own participation in SpaceX.
The alleged promises of the Saudi fund have been a central part of the process, since this information has been denied by some sources and documents were never signed, but Musk's defense has insisted that there was a verbal commitment and that is why the businessman was not lying when he said he had the financing.
In 2018 Musk was accused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, for its acronym in English) of fraud for its publication on Twitter, and then the businessman accepted as a sanction a fine of 20 million dollars and leave for at least three years as president of the company's board of directors, although continued to be its CEO.
(Co n information from AFP and EFE)