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Elon Musk’s ‘lies’ about Tesla on Twitter cost investors millions, court told


Elon Musk ‘lied’ when he claimed he ‘got’ funding to take Tesla private, a lawyer for investors has told a court.

The general manager of the company written in 2018 that he had “obtained” financing to privatize the electric car manufacturer and later that investor support was “confirmed”, causing stocks to fall and then rise.

Less than three weeks later, Musk backtracked on plans.

Tesla investor Glen Littleton is claim damages on behalf of shareholders who bought or sold shares in the days following the tweets, claiming MuskTheir tweets cost “millions”.

However, a lawyer for Musk argued in court that the billionaire simply used the “wrong words” when he tweeted about his plans.

During opening statements, Nicholas Porritt, lead attorney for the investors, told a jury in San Francisco that “millions of dollars were lost when [Musk’s] lies have been uncovered”.

But Alex Spiro, representing Musk, said the billionaire was “serious” about taking the company private in 2018 but ultimately met with opposition from shareholders.

“You’ll learn very soon that it wasn’t a fraud, not even close,” he told jurors.

The attorney, however, told the jury that Musk’s Twitter post contained “technical inaccuracies.”

“In a hurry, he used the wrong words,” he told the court.

Littleton, testifying in court, said he invested in Tesla in 2015.

He said after seeing Musk’s “Funding Secured” message, he rushed to unwind his positions in Tesla options, which the tweet had made unprofitable.

A nine-person jury will decide whether Musk’s tweets artificially inflated Tesla’s share price by playing into the status of the deal’s funding, and if so, by how much.

The trial will resume Friday with an expert witness and could include Musk on the stand.

Judge Edward Chen denied Musk’s request to transfer the case to Texas last week amid fears that potential jurors in California could be biased against him.

He cited the negative media coverage of the thousands of jobs he deleted on Twitterwho is based in San Francisco, following its takeover of the social media platform last October.

The jury will be asked to decide whether Musk’s tweets influenced investors, whether he acted knowingly and whether damages should be awarded.

Judge Chen has already ruled that the statements of the SpaceX made by the owner was false, but the defendants will argue that he had good reason to believe that financing for the privatization of Tesla was secured.

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