A US jury has found Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk and his company not culpable in a securities fraud case over Musk’s tweets in 2018.
Misk had been accused of masterminding a gigantic financial fraud to finance an electric car company.
Musk has defended his innocence in the case amid inquest into his growing fondness to tweet broadly.
The jury came back with a verdict roughly two hours after beginning deliberations.
“The jury got it right,” Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, told reporters after the verdict. He declined to say more.
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The world’s second-richest person has previously created legal and regulatory headaches through his sometimes impulsive use of Twitter, the social media company he bought for US$44 billion in October.
Musk’s attention has been divided in recent months between Tesla, his rocket company SpaceX and now Twitter. Tesla investors have expressed concerns that running the social media company has taken up too much of his focus.
Tesla shareholders claim Musk misled them when he tweeted on 7 August 2018, that he was considering taking the company private at US$420 per share, a premium of about 23 per cent to the prior day’s close, and had “funding secured.”
They say Musk lied when he tweeted later that day that “investor support is confirmed.”
The stock price soared after the tweets and then fell again after 17 August 2018, as it became clear the buyout would not happen.
A lawyer for the shareholders told jurors that the billionaire CEO is not above the law, and should be held liable for the tweets.
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