Tesla's Elon Musk avoids a federal contempt charge, for now

US District Judge Alison Nathan has given Musk and the SEC two weeks to come to an agreement before she rules on the regulatory body's request.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
Judge Considers Whether To Hold Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk In Contempt Over Tweet
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Judge Considers Whether To Hold Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk In Contempt Over Tweet

World-renowned smug guy and Twitter enthusiast Elon Musk has two weeks to come to an agreement with the SEC.

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The saga of Elon Musk versus the Securities and Exchange Commission has been going on for what seems like years. Now thanks to a federal judge, an end might be in sight.

Tesla's CEO made an appearance in a Manhattan court on Thursday, Automotive News reports, to answer the SEC's allegations of contempt. During the hearing, US District Judge Alison Nathan essentially told both Musk and the SEC to quit being children and figure their [expletive deleted] out.

Judge Nathan gave the two parties two weeks to come to an agreement, and if they are unable to do so, she will rule on whether or not Musk violated the terms of his deal with the SEC over fraud stemming from his "Funding secured" antics on Twitter.

"I have great respect for Judge Nathan, and I'm pleased with her decision today," Musk said in a statement to Roadshow. "The tweet in question was true, immaterial to shareholders, and in no way a violation of my agreement with the SEC. We have always felt that we should be able to work through any disagreements directly with the SEC, rather than prematurely rushing to court. Today, that is exactly what Judge Nathan instructed."

The conditions of Musk's settlement included his stepping down as the chairman of Tesla's board and upwards of $40 million in fines split between the company and Musk. The agreement also mandated that he be given a "Twitter sitter" to screen his tweets before sending them live.

That mostly hasn't happened, which is why the SEC asked the court to hold Musk in contempt, which brings us to today's decision. If that strikes you as anticlimactic, you're not the only one. We'll have to see how things shake out in two weeks.

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