The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing Elon Musk over his refusal to testify in an investigation into Musk’s purchase of Twitter stock in 2022.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Musk was scheduled to appear for testimony on September 15th after receiving a subpoena. However, “two days before his scheduled testimony, Musk abruptly notified the SEC staff that he would not appear” and apparently raised “several spurious objections, including an objection to San Francisco as an appropriate testimony location,” the SEC said. The lawsuit was first reported by Bloomberg.
The SEC says it offered to conduct the testimony in Fort Worth, Texas, which is closer to where Musk lives, as well as on multiple dates in October and November. Despite that, “these good faith efforts were met with Musk’s blanket refusal to appear for testimony.” The SEC is asking the court to compel Musk to testify.
The subpoena relates to “an ongoing nonpublic investigation” from the SEC about whether Musk violated securities laws with his 2022 purchases of Twitter stock and 2022 statements and filings regarding the company. In April of last year, the SEC wrote a letter to Musk questioning his disclosures about the purchases.
Ahead of his acquisition of Twitter last year, Musk purchased a substantial stake in Twitter, requiring him to file a disclosure with the SEC. The SEC previously said that Musk “does not appear” to have disclosed the purchases within the appropriate timeframe.
Musk has a long history of tussling with the SEC. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court rejected his bid to toss an SEC settlement that forces him to have some Tesla-related tweets reviewed by a lawyer.