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Judge rejects Elon Musk’s request to force the SEC back into court

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Musk’s request is ‘unclear,’ the judge writes

TIME Person of the Year Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME

A federal judge denied Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s request to force the Securities and Exchange Commission into court to address his allegations about unpaid settlement funds.

In a recent court filing, US District Judge Alison Nathan said it was “unclear” exactly what Musk was requesting. Musk has accused the SEC of subjecting him and his company to “endless, unfounded investigations” and alleged that the agency was ignoring its commitment to distribute $40 million in fine money to Tesla shareholders, as per the 2018 settlement. The SEC responded that it was still developing a plan to allocate the funds.

Nathan rejects Musk’s request for a conference, arguing that if he wants to impose a deadline on the distribution of funds, he needs to file a motion to request one. “Otherwise, the Court cannot enforce a deadline that does not currently exist,” Nathan wrote.

She also rejects Musk’s efforts to hold the SEC accountable for allegedly leaking information. Nathan notes that Musk’s team failed to produce any “specific facts or legal authority to justify this request.”

The judge’s filing comes on the heels of breaking news that Musk and his brother Kimbal Musk are under investigation by the SEC for potential insider trading. Elon Musk has been at war with the SEC since his 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private, infamously declaring “funding secured.” After Musk sent the tweet, the SEC launched an investigation, eventually concluding that Musk misled investors about his plan to take Tesla private.