In court documents filed late Friday, a group of Tesla shareholders said a federal judge recently ruled Elon Musk made “false and misleading” statements in 2018 when he said he was considering taking the company private at $420 per share, reports Reuters. Musk’s now-infamous “funding secured” tweet landed the executive in trouble with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, eventually leading to a $40 million settlement with the agency that he’s now trying to end.
— Tesla Nakamoto (@TeslaNakamoto) April 14, 2022
According to those documents, US District Court Judge Edward Chen concluded at the start of the month that Musk had “recklessly made the statements with knowledge as to their falsity.” The investors involved in the class action suit have asked the court to block Musk from continuing his “public campaign to present a contradictory and false narrative” of the episode. The filing comes in the same week Musk shared his version of what went down during a widely watched appearance at the TED 2022 conference.
“The SEC knew that funding was secured but they pursued an active, public investigation nonetheless at the time,” Musk said during the interview. “I was forced to concede to the SEC unlawfully… Now it makes it look like I lied when I did not in fact lie. I was forced to admit I lied to save Tesla’s life, and that’s the only reason.” In the same segment, Musk called officials with the commission’s San Francisco office “bastards.”
On Saturday, Musk’s attorney dismissed the claims made by the investors. “Nothing will ever change the truth which is that Elon Musk was considering taking Tesla private and could have,” he told CNBC. According to the outlet, damages from the lawsuit could amount to billions of dollars that would have to be paid out by Musk and Tesla. The case is currently set to go to trial on May 31st.