Tesla-Musk $ 40m SEC fine-distribution plan is approved

A judge approved a plan by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for distributing $ 40 million to Tesla Inc. shareholders from money paid by the company and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk in a 2018 settlement over his Twitter posts.

US District Judge Alison Nathan on Friday approved the regulator’s plan to pay the money to Tesla shareholders who lost money during a short-lived run-up in the company’s stock price after Musk claimed on Twitter he was thinking about taking the company public. Tesla shares fell the next day.

Musk had complained the SEC was dragging its feet on distributing the fines and that the agency is using a 2018 settlement agreement to stifle his free-speech rights. He’s seeking to end SEC oversight of his Twitter posts. The SEC argues that Musk’s tweets about Tesla are a valid subject for government investigation with or without the settlement.

Under the SEC’s plan, money will go to investors who lost money buying Tesla shares between 12:48:16 pm EDT on August 7, 2018, and 4 pm August 8.

The case is US Securities and Exchange Commission v. Musk, 18-cv-08865, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

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