Accused by investors, Elon Musk will face a trial

Accused by investors, Elon Musk will face a trial

Trouble is piling up for Elon Musk. A lawsuit against the billionaire, boss of Tesla and Twitter, is due to open Tuesday in San Francisco, after a judge on Friday rejected a request by the Tesla boss’s lawyers to transfer the case out of California. Elon Musk is accused by investors of having written a fraudulent tweet. The case dates back to the summer of 2018, when Elon Musk tweeted that he had sufficient funding to take Tesla out of the stock market, a message that had caused the stock to fluctuate strongly for a few days. On August 10, a complaint was filed against the business executive for having “artificially manipulated the price of Tesla’s stock in order to completely ruin investors” who bet on the price drop.

Four and a half years later, the last barrier to holding a trial seems to have been lifted. According to the court, Judge Edward Chen refused to transfer the proceedings to Texas, the American state where Elon Musk moved the headquarters of Tesla, and the selection of jurors is due to begin on Tuesday. The defense argued that the multi-billionaire could not benefit from an impartial trial in San Francisco, where he bought Twitter in late October, and was widely criticized for his decisions, from the platform’s content moderation policy to mass layoffs. “In recent months, local media has saturated this district with biased and negative stories about Elon Musk,” the attorneys said in a motion last week.

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Protests against Musk

“The local press, contrary to its usual way of covering (the social plans), personally blamed Elon Musk for the job cuts and even accused him of breaking the law. Local elected officials, including the mayor of San Francisco, participated in protests against him,” they continued. Edward Chen on the contrary estimated Friday that an impartial jury could be constituted in the Californian city, noting that “Elon Musk has a lot of fans around here”, according to Bloomberg. In a previous decision related to this case, the judge ruled that the famous 2018 tweet could be considered “false and misleading”.

The short message from the boss of Tesla has already earned him numerous disputes with the authorities. The American stock market policeman, the SEC, considering that Elon Musk had not provided proof of his financing, had also filed a complaint at the time. The regulator then forced him to hand over the chairmanship of Tesla’s board of directors, pay a $20 million fine and later demanded that his tweets directly related to Tesla’s activity be pre-approved by a lawyer. competent. Elon Musk tried again in the spring to invalidate this decision, in vain.

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