Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has responded to news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing him for fraud. Tesla stock plunged on Thursday after the SEC press conference, in which the Commission noted Musk had made “false and misleading” statements about taking Tesla private. In August, Musk tweeted about taking his electric car manufacturer private. The SEC alleges that Musk’s statements violate the 1934 Securities Exchange Act, and that Musk “knew or was reckless in not knowing” that his tweets were not accurate and true.
Musk skipped his tendency to tweet in response to news of the lawsuit—arguably, his erratic, uncensored behavior on Twitter is the reason both Musk and Tesla are in hot water—and Tesla responded with a statement on behalf of the CEO on Thursday.
“This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed. I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way,” Musk wrote. This added to an earlier statement released by Tesla in which Musk said he was “saddened and disappointed” by the SEC charges.
Following the announcement of the SEC charges, Tesla stock plunged in after market trading.
Musk is also being sued by a major short seller for his tweets about taking Tesla private.