Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk will go on trial for intentionally influencing the financial markets with a tweet. A federal judge denied Musk’s plea to relocate the trial out of California.
Elon Musk Tweeted
When Elon Musk tweeted in August 2018 that he had adequate financing to make Tesla private, it caused a frenzy in the share price of the company. This is when the matter in question began.
A shareholder lawsuit was filed against Musk almost immediately after he tweeted that funding had been “managed to secure” to purchase out the company’s stockholders. The shareholders claim that this post caused them to lose billions of dollars. According to a statement made by a spokeswoman for the judiciary on Friday, Judge Edward Chen rejected a maneuver to relocate the litigation to the southern state of Texas. This is the location where Elon Musk decamped Tesla’s headquarters, and it is also the location where jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
Defense attorneys had contended that the tech billionaire would not be able to receive a fair hearing in San Francisco, which is where he bought Twitter at the end of October and where he has been extensively criticized for his moves since acquiring over the social media platform. Following his takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk terminated more than 50% of the site’s 7,500 employees, the most of whom were based in San Francisco, but implemented sweeping reforms to the way the site moderates its content.
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“In the previous several quarters, the local newspapers have bombarded this region with discriminatory and unflattering articles about Mr. Musk that have established very adverse pressure in the jury pool,” the legal team representing the CEO stated in a filing.
According to the lawyers, “the local media have criticized Mr. Musk individually for the cutbacks and sometimes even convicted him of breaching the law.” This is a departure from how the media generally covers situations of this nature. At the hearing, Judge Chen reportedly expressed confidence that it would be possible to select impartial jurors. This was reported by the officials of various media house.
In 2018, Musk sent out a brief tweet that immediately caught the attention of the relevant authorities. The Financial services Authority, which oversees the stock market in the United States, issued an order mandating that Elon Musk pay a penalty of $20 million and resign as the board chairman of Tesla.