OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:12 PM – Thursday, October 5, 2023
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Elon Musk in an effort to get the billionaire to testify over his purchase of Twitter last year.
On Thursday, the SEC sued Musk in order to have him testify as it investigates the billionaire’s purchases of Twitter shares ahead of his takeover of the social media platform.
However, attorneys representing the SEC reported in a legal filing released in the Northern District of California that Musk did not appear in court on September 15th to testify as mandated by a subpoena, which attorneys claimed was served to him in May 2023.
According to the SEC’s investigation, it was stated that it is connected to whether anyone committed securities fraud in buying Twitter shares last year as Musk was in the process of buying stock in the social media platform. The Tesla CEO finalized his acquisition of Twitter in October, which is now known as X, in a deal worth about $44 billion.
“Musk’s ongoing refusal to comply with the SEC’s administrative subpoena is hindering and delaying the SEC staff’s investigation to determine whether violations of the federal securities laws have occurred,” the attorneys explained in the complaint. “Accordingly, the SEC now asks the Court to compel Musk to appear for investigative testimony.”
The SEC claimed that it has attempted to find an agreeable time and place to have a meeting with Musk. The agency offered to meet him at their corporation’s office in Fort Worth, Texas, which was “the closest SEC office to Musk’s current personal residence” in the Austin area.
Multiple dates were proposed to Musk for October and November of this year.
“These good faith efforts were met with Musk’s blanket refusal to appear for testimony,” the lawsuit says.
Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, made a comment in a statement regarding the complaint that the “SEC has already taken Mr. Musk’s testimony multiple times in this misguided investigation, enough is enough.”
Lawyers for the SEC have reported that Musk rejected cooperating with the subpoena due to “several spurious objections, including an objection to San Francisco as an appropriate testimony location.”
Previously, Musk did not raise any objection to that particular location.
Additionally, the SEC lawyers assert that Musk refused to comply because they thought the subpoena was an attempt by the commission to “harass” him.
In addition, Musk allegedly cited the publication of his biography by journalist Walter Isaacson as a further justification for not appearing for testimony, asserting that it might contain “new information potentially relevant to this matter.”
“The publication of Musk’s biography is not a legitimate basis for Musk to avoid compliance with a lawfully issued investigative subpoena,” the attorneys stated in the legal filing. “In any event, Musk’s initial refusal to comply with the subpoena has now presented his counsel with plenty of time to review the biography for any relevant information, and so this objection is now moot in addition to being legally insufficient from inception.”
According to a statement made by the SEC, its staff is “continuing its fact-finding investigation and, to date, has not concluded that any individual or entity has violated the federal securities laws.”
According to the legal filing, a hearing on the filing is planned on November 9th.
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