Elon Musk gets big win in fraud lawsuit over Tesla tweets
San Francisco, California - A judge has ruled that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was not guilty of fraud in a lawsuit brought forth by investors.
The class action suit was filed by Tesla investors who accused Musk of causing price fluctuations through his tweets, causing them to lose money. The federal civil trial in San Francisco spanned over the last three weeks.
After an hour of deliberation, the jury found Musk not guilty on Friday for causing investors’ losses.
"Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!" Musk tweeted on Friday, adding that he is "deeply appreciative of the jury's unanimous finding of innocence."
The tweets in question include one from August 7, 2018, where Musk states, "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured."
In a follow-up tweet, he added, "Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it's contingent on a shareholder vote."
Lawyers for the investors reportedly argued that Musk's tweets had huge financial consequences and that the CEO knew the company was nowhere close to going private – and there was no framework for the company to do so.
Musk's team claimed that he was sincerely considering taking Tesla private, and that no plan was in place because he wasn't sure how many shareholders would still want to own stock in the company if it was taken off the stock exchange.
If Musk had lost the case, he would have possibly had to pay billions in damages.
Nicholas Porritt, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said they are "disappointed" with the verdict and are "considering next steps."
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / NurPhoto & ZUMA Wire