Elon Musk insults SEC on Twitter

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Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) Elon Musk on Thursday mocked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, just hours after a federal judge ordered him and the regulator to justify their securities fraud settlement, which let Musk remain chief executive. "And the name change is so on point!"

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday taunted the Securities and Exchange Commission on Twitter, just days after he settled fraud charges with the agency.

Late last week, Musk reached an agreement with the SEC to settle fraud charges in connection with an August 7 tweet about taking the company private.

Shares of Tesla closed down 4.4% at $281.83, and fell another 2.2% after market hours following Musk's tweet. The settlement was announced on September 29, two days after Musk was charged.

Part of Musk's settlement from last week is an agreement to reign in his tweeting habits.

The SEC, Mr Musk and Tesla must file documents later this month to prove the terms are "fair and reasonable".

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The SEC had alleged that Musk did not have the estimated $25-50bn needed to make that deal happen. Ryan White, an SEC spokesman, declined to comment. The deal also requires Tesla's board to "establish a new committee of independent directors and put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk's communications".

Under the terms of the settlement, Musk agreed to pay a $20 million fine and step down as chairman of the Tesla board of directors - a position from which he will be barred for three years - as well as have his tweets about Tesla supervised by a company official.

As a result, the SEC reportedly increased Musk's fine from $10 (£7.7 / €8.7) million to $20 (£15.4 / €17.4) million.

"In and of itself it's not an ominous sign", said Jordan Thomas, a partner at Labaton Sucharow and former SEC lawyer.

The SEC settlement still needs court approval.

The website description says they want to help Musk with this "preposterous" SEC filing against him.

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