Musk Didn't Defraud Investors With 2018 Tesla Tweets

Musk Didn't Defraud Investors With 2018 Tesla Tweets
Photo by Ernie Journeys / Unsplash

Elon Musk, center, leaves a federal courthouse in San Francisco, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. A high-profile trial focused on a 2018 tweet about the financing for a Tesla buyout that never happened drew a surprise spectator for Friday's final arguments — Elon Musk, the billionaire who is being accused of misleading investors with his usage of the Twitter service he now owns. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)JEFF CHIU

On Friday, a jury reached a verdict that Elon Musk did not defraud investors with his tweets in 2018 regarding a proposed deal for electric automaker Tesla.

Despite concerns about the billionaire potentially misleading investors, the verdict was reached after only two hours of deliberation by the nine-member jury, following a three-week trial. This decision serves as a significant vindication for Musk, who spent eight hours on the witness stand defending the intention behind his tweets at the heart of the trial.

Elon Musk was not present during the reading of the verdict. However, he made a surprise appearance earlier in the day during the closing arguments, which painted contrasting images of him. After the verdict was announced, Musk took to his Twitter account to express his gratitude.

He wrote, "Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!" This statement highlights the significant influence that Musk holds over the platform.

During roughly eight hours on the stand earlier in the trial, Musk insisted he believed he had lined up the funds from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to take Tesla private after eight years as a publicly held company.

He defended his initial August 2018 tweet as well-intentioned and aimed at ensuring all Tesla investors knew the automaker might be on its way to ending its run as a publicly held company.

“I had no ill motive,” Musk testified. “My intent was to do the right thing for all shareholders.”

Tesla Model S Bluefire at Tesla Servicecenter Bern Switzerland
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