Tesla appoints ex-lawyer to SEC | 04.12.21

• David Messler is a management attorney at Tesla

• In 2018, the Saudi Electricity Company filed a lawsuit against Musk for securities fraud

• Government enforcement actions can adversely affect the financial situation and business operations

Tesla Previously Hires SEC Lawyers

Tesla has appointed attorney David Messler as its executive attorney. In any case, this can be seen from the profile of the lawyer on LinkedIn. As CNBC reported, Messler previously served as trial attorney for the US Department of Justice and most recently on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a LinkedIn post, Messler announced his move to the private sector: “Nearly nine years ago I joined the US Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., where I swore I would faithfully represent the United States as their attorney. My service at the federal level ended last Friday. After two years in the litigation department of the Securities and Exchange Commission. […] Today begins a new journey. I will join Tesla as a litigation management advisor, where I will support our important mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” the attorney wrote in the publication.

History of the Tesla SEC

The American electric car maker has had to deal with the SEC several times in the past. The main reason for this is statements made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which he made on Twitter, CNBC explains. In 2018, for example, the SEC indicted Musk for securities fraud as he tweeted that he was “considering taking the company off at $420 per share and that this funding is secured in 2018.”

The outcome of the lawsuit was that both the company and Musk themselves paid a fine of $20 million. An agreement was also passed stipulating that Musk would step down from his role as chairman of the board and have a lawyer review his tweets before they were published. CNBC explains that in 2019, the agreement eventually changed as Musk continued to tweet quickly. At the time, the FBI filed a motion to convict Musk of ignoring the agreement. However, the judge asked the parties to clarify exactly what types of Musk’s tweets should be reviewed by a lawyer.

Warning Notice to Investors

In the context of its latest quarterly report, Tesla said the company received regular requests for information from regulatory and government agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice (DOJ). According to its own information, Tesla is cooperating with the authorities, which also include subpoenas, official and unofficial investigations, and other investigations and investigations. Regarding Musk’s statement about the privatization of Tesla, there were no significant developments other than amending the agreement. “As always, we have worked with government agencies and will continue to do so. We cannot predict the outcome or impact of current affairs. If the government decides to take enforcement action, it could have a material negative impact on our business, operating results, prospects, cash flow and financial condition,” the company warns its investors.

E. Schmal / Editors finanzen.ch

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