Investor Claims He Lost Millions Because of ‘Lies’; CEO to Take Stand Friday

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Last Updated: January 19, 2023, 07:40 IST

San Francisco, United States

Investors claim that Musk's tweets misled them and the share market, resulting in major losses (Image: Reuters)

Investors declare that Musk’s tweets misled them and the share market, leading to main losses (Image: Reuters)

Musk is predicted to be part of the trial this Friday

A lawyer for offended Tesla traders instructed a California courtroom on Wednesday that CEO Elon Musk “lied” about having funding in place to take the company private, costing his clients millions of dollars.

More than four years after Musk fired off tweets saying he had funding secured to buy the electric car maker at $420 a share, investors who felt burned by the misleading statements began to make their case in the San Francisco court.

The tweets in the summer of 2018 sent the Tesla share price on a rollercoaster ride and Musk was sued by shareholders who say the tycoon acted recklessly in an effort to squeeze investors who had bet against the company.

“Elon Musk, Tesla’s chair and chief executive, lied,” stated lawyer Nicholas Porritt, who represents Glen Littleton and different traders within the automaker.

“And his lies price common individuals like Glen Littleton to lose tens of millions and tens of millions of {dollars},” Porritt added in opening remarks.

Called as the first witness, 71-year-old Littleton told jurors he was heavily invested in Tesla in 2018 in a way that banked on the share price climbing to $500 or more.

Littleton testified that he was “pretty shocked” by Musk’s tweet about taking the corporate personal at $420 a share as a result of it threatened virtually all the cash he had invested in Tesla.

“It was going to just about wipe me out,” Littleton said.

Littleton told jurors he scrambled “in a fog of war” to save what he might of his investments, getting out of most of his positions at an enormous loss.

The fraud trial opened Tuesday with the choice of a nine-person jury, and is predicted to final three weeks. Musk is scheduled to take the stand, presumably as early as Friday.

Musk denies he was being deceitful and his legal professionals are anticipated to name on witnesses to vouch for his plans on the time, together with testimony from Musk’s pal and fellow billionaire Larry Ellison.

‘Not fraud’

The case revolves round a pair of tweets wherein Musk stated “funding secured” for a project to buy out the publicly-traded electric automaker, then in a second tweet added that “investor support is confirmed.”

Porritt instructed jurors that Musk had chosen the $420 share value within the tweet “as a joke” and that the funding to take Tesla private was never locked in, nor credibly pursued.

In his own opening remarks, Musk attorney Alex Spiro said that even though the tweets may have been a “reckless choice of words”, they had been “not fraud, not even shut.”

“What Mr. Musk was communicating in those tweets was that Mr. Musk was serious about taking Tesla private,” Spiro instructed jurors, including that something extra detailed or official “would have had the identical impact in the marketplace.”

The trial comes at a sensitive time for Musk, who has dominated the headlines in recent months for his chaotic takeover of Twitter where the entrepreneur laid off more than half of the 7,500 employees and downsized content moderation.

Tesla’s share price has plummeted with investors accusing Musk of spending too much time on Twitter when the car company faces new challenges, including a slumping economy and the arrival of new rivals on the electric car market.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)

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