Tesla founder Elon Musk’s intention to withdraw the company from Wall Street, as he had said in a 2018 tweet, was “fully true,” according to the businessman’s lawyers’ file in a case under federal court in San Francisco, U.S., about investors’ allegations accusing Musk of fraud and manipulation of the stock.
As reported by Bloomberg, the billionaire’s lawyers chief executive of the electric car maker said in a court filed Tuesday that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had indeed agreed to support its effort.
“Elon Musk’s tweet on August 7, 2018 was absolutely true,” according to the corrected testimony of lawyer Alex Spiro. “Mr. Musk thought to move on, to $420 per share. The funding was secured. There was investor support.”
The tweet hit the company’s shares and led the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sue Musk for fraud. Musk and Tesla reached a compromise with the agency, agreeing to pay $40 million. dollars in fines. Musk resigned as the company’s president for three years.
Investors, ahead of the trial set for May 31, claim the tweets were false statements. The hearing is scheduled for March.
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“Not only did Mr. Musk firmly believe that the funding was secured when he tweeted, in fact (according to Mr. Musk’s discussions with the Saudi Public Investment Fund.) it was secured,” according to Spiro’s testimony.
Tesla’s stock rose as much as 13% after the controversial tweet, hitting shorts who hadn’t filled their positions. Other investors who read Musk’s message as a buy signal suffered losses when doubts about his ability to continue rose and the company’s share price plummeted.