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Tesla’s stock (TSLA) jumps as judge approves settlement of SEC’s complaint against Elon Musk

A judge has officially approved the settlement of the SEC’s complaint against Tesla and Elon Musk – making the several punitive actions against the automaker and its CEO official.

Tesla’s stock (TSLA) jumped by 4% on the news.

Some speculated that closing the deal could be an issue after Musk trolled the SEC following the settlement agreement, but a judge has approved it today.

Here’s the official judgment (via CNBC):

“The Securities and Exchange Commission having filed a Complaint and Defendant Elon Musk having entered a general appearance; consented to the Court’s jurisdiction over Defendant in this matter only and the subject matter of this action; consented to entry of this Final Judgment without admitting or denying the allegations of the Complaint (except as to jurisdiction and except as otherwise provided herein in paragraph III); waived findings of fact and conclusions of law; and waived any right to appeal from this Final Judgment: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Defendant is permanently restrained and enjoined from violating, directly or indirectly, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) [15 US.C. § 78j(b)] and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder [17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5], by using any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails, or of any facility of any national securities exchange, in connection with the purchase or sale of any security; as set forth herein. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Defendant shall pay a civil penalty in the amount of $20,000,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Section 21(d)(3) of the Exchange Act [15 U.S. C. § 78u(d)(3)]. Defendant shall make this payment within 14 days after entry of this Final Judgment. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that this Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter for the purposes of enforcing the terms of this Final Judgment. (Signed by Judge Alison J. Nathan on 10/16/2018) (mro) (Entered: 10/16/2018)”

It means that all the terms are now official and will have to be enforced in the next 90 days:

  • Musk will step down as Tesla’s Chairman and be replaced by an independent Chairman. Musk will be ineligible to be re-elected Chairman for three years;
  • Tesla will appoint a total of two new independent directors to its board;
  • Tesla will establish a new committee of independent directors and put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk’s communications;
  • Musk and Tesla will each pay a separate $20 million penalty. The $40 million in penalties will be distributed to harmed investors under a court-approved process.

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