STORY: Inside a San Francisco federal court – a battle is playing out between Tesla investors and the company’s CEO, Elon Musk… over Tweets from Musk in 2018 that investors say were 'false' and which cost them millions of dollars.
A lawyer representing Tesla investors on Wednesday told a jury Musk ‘lied’ when he tweeted – on August 7, 2018 – that funding was "secured" to take the company private.
"Millions of dollars were lost when his lies were exposed”, the lawyer said during opening statements.
But Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro (broll of him entering court) defended his billionaire client saying Musk was serious about taking Tesla private -- telling that jury that Musk believed that financing was not an issue and was "taking steps" to make a deal happen.
While Spiro admitted that the tweets contained "technical inaccuracies”... he insisted that Musk was concerned that some investors knew about his go-private plan and wanted to get the information out to the "everyday shareholder."
The case is a rare securities class action trial, in which Musk is expected to take the stand this week.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for shareholders who bought or sold Tesla stocks in the days after Musk’s 2018 Tweets.
Spiro said on Wednesday that Tesla's stock price jumped in response to Musk saying he was considering taking the company private, and NOT his assertion about funding.
Ultimately - A jury of nine will decide whether the tweets artificially inflated Tesla's share price and if so, by how much.