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Fraud: Musk’s trial over 2018 Tesla tweet begins

Elon Musk to launch paid verification for Twitter

Trial has begun into a tweet by Tesla founder, Elon Musk, alleging that he would take Tesla private in a $72bn (£58.7bn) buyout is set to begin on Tuesday.

Elon Musk is being sued by shareholders of his high-tech automobile company, Tesla. They alleged that Mr. Musk manipulated the share price of the company.

In 2018, Musk had tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take the carmaker private.

However, in a twist of events, the funding was not secured – and Tesla was not taken private.

Shareholders arguing that they lost billions of dollars due to the tweet that led to share prices plummeting.

The Tesla CEO is arguing that he believed he had secured funding from Saudi Arabia’s Investment Fund, and as such did not commit securities fraud.

However, If a San Francisco jury rules in the favour of the shareholders, Mr Musk may be ordered to pay billions of dollars in damages.

His tweet has has set a precedent in Silicon Valley, as it showed the power of the140 Twitter characters.

Legal experts believe that it will be a difficult for Musk to win this case but jury trials in cases of fraud are difficult to predict.

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