The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for refusing to testify in an investigation into his purchase of Twitter shares in 2022 before he bought the micro-blogging platform for $44 billion.
The X owner failed to appear for testimony on September 15, as required by the investigative subpoena served by the SEC, despite agreeing in May to appear for testimony on a date nearly four months later, the US regulator said in its complaint.
He raised no objection to the subpoena at the time it was served or during the following months, and approximately two weeks before his scheduled testimony, Musk requested to move his scheduled testimony by one day.
“Instead, two days before his scheduled testimony, Musk abruptly notified the SEC staff that he would not appear,” the complaint further read.
The regulator even offered to conduct Musk’s testimony at the SEC’s Fort Worth, Texas office (the closest SEC office to Musk’s current personal residence) or any other of the Commission’s offices, and proposed multiple dates in October and November.
“These good faith efforts were met with Musk’s blanket refusal to appear for testimony,” read the complaint.
The subpoena with which Musk failed to comply relates to an ongoing nonpublic investigation by the SEC regarding whether, among other things, Musk violated various provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with his 2022 purchases of Twitter stock, and his 2022 statements and SEC filings relating to Twitter.
The SEC has now asked the court to intervene and compel Musk’s compliance.
Ahead of his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October last year, Musk purchased a substantial stake in the company, requiring him to file a disclosure with the SEC.