A US court has cleared Elon Musk of securities fraud in a class-action lawsuit stemming from his tweets about taking Tesla private.
The jurors deliberated for about two hours before reaching the verdict, called a “disappointed” one by Nicholas Porritt, partner at Levi & Korsinsky, the firm representing the Tesla shareholders in the class action, reports CNBC.
Musk expressed his gratitude for the jury’s unanimous decision in a tweet. “deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding”, he wrote
His lead counsel Alex Spiro testified before the jury on Friday, saying “fraud cannot be built on the back of a consideration”.
Musk’s infamous 2018 statements on taking Tesla private have come back to haunt him, and he stands to lose billions.
The plaintiffs claim that Musk’s tweets on taking Tesla private, in which he claimed to have “financing secured,” cost them millions of dollars.
Musk has testified in a US court that he ignored his advisors and investors when tweeting about Tesla’s funding in 2018.
“Shareholders could either sell at 420 or hold shares & go private,” he added. The controversial tweet cost him his position as Chairman of Tesla.
Musk and Tesla settled fraud charges with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of the August 2018 tweet.
The settlement included a $40 million penalty divided equally between the firm and Musk, as well as Musk’s removal as chairman of the Tesla board.