It appears that the ongoing battle between the SEC and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is far from over. In a letter addressed to New York Judge Alison Nathan on Monday, Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of leaking information from its investigation.
These leaks, Spiro noted, seem to be reprisals against the CEO, who has openly criticized the SEC in the past. Spiro did not provide the name of the SEC staff member who allegedly leaked information in his letter, but he argued that such actions highlight the agency’s vindictive nature towards the Tesla CEO.
“Upon information and belief, after I filed the February 17, 2022 letter to this Court regarding the Commission’s conduct, at least one member of the SEC staff responded by leaking certain information regarding its investigation. This leak is emblematic of the vindictive, improper conduct that occasioned my letter: the SEC is retaliating against Mr. Musk and Tesla, without answering to the constraints of principle or law in so doing,” the letter read.
In a separate letter, Spiro also stated that certain SEC staff should “preserve their records and devices.” The lawyer further noted that he had reported the matter to the SEC Office of Inspector General. The SEC, for its part, has not issued a response to Spiro’s allegations as of writing.
“No denial has been forthcoming as of yet. So that the Court is advised of the premises and able to address the ostensible misconduct before it, we now respectfully seek on-the-record assurance that the Commission has not leaked investigative details in violation of its own rules and policies and is otherwise acting in accordance with the law,” Spiro noted.
Musk and the SEC have locked horns in the past, especially following the CEO’s “funding secured” fiasco in 2018, which resulted in a hefty fine of $40 million that would be distributed to TSLA shareholders. Earlier this month, Musk accused the SEC of supposedly neglecting its duties to remit the $40 million to TSLA investors. Spiro also argued that the SEC had been targeting both the CEO and Tesla with an unrelenting investigation aimed at limiting the executive’s free speech rights.
The SEC eventually responded to the Tesla CEO’s accusations. In a letter submitted last Friday, Steven Buchholz of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s San Francisco Office denied that the agency is taking too long to distribute Musk and Tesla’s $40 million fine to TSLA shareholders. Buchholz argued that the process involved in distributing the funds is complex, but a working plan to accomplish the task should be ready around March 2022.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with news tips. Just send a message to [email protected] to give us a heads up.