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Jordan Thomas, Chair of Labaton Sucharow’s Whistleblower Representation Practice, spoke with The Washington Post about the SEC’s settlement with Tesla. As part of the settlement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk will step down as Chairman for three years and will pay a $20 million fine. Tesla will pay an additional $20 million fine, add two new independent directors to its board and monitor more closely Musk’s public communications.
“In the end, neither Musk nor the SEC wanted to play chicken,” said Jordan. Last week in The Post, upon news that the SEC was suing the electric car company, Jordan noted, “the vast majority of defendants settle with the SEC before filing. I am very surprised that they couldn’t find common ground.”
Labaton Sucharow, on behalf of Citron Research’s Andrew Left, filed a securities class action against Tesla and Elon Musk on September 6, 2018. The Firm’s action, which is related to the same underlying misconduct alleged in the SEC case, claims that Elon Musk artificially manipulated the price of Tesla securities with objectively false tweets in order to “burn” the company’s short-sellers.