The SEC’s complaint of fraud against Tesla CEO Elon Musk can be a “road map to criminal charges,” said Jim Stewart, on of The fresh York Times reporters behind an explosive interview with the billionaire tech executive.
“[The complaint] says over in addition to over again. This particular talks about the [short sellers] in addition to the implied motive in which he wanted to punish the shorts, which could be a manipulation,” Stewart, also a CNBC contributor, told “Squawk on the Street” on Friday. “This particular doesn’t matter in a SEC case what his motive can be. in which goes only to criminal intent, where the bar can be higher. in addition to This particular seems to me they put in which warning in, saying you know, ‘You think This particular can be bad, well look where This particular could go.'”
The SEC sued Musk on Thursday in connection with an Aug. 7 tweet about taking the company private. The complaint alleges Musk made “false in addition to misleading” statements in addition to seeks, among some other remedies, to remove Musk as CEO of Tesla in addition to bar him coming from running a public company inside future.
Tesla said earlier This particular month in which the Department of Justice was also looking into the Aug. 7 tweet.
A DOJ criminal case could likely pause the SEC’s civil case, Stewart said. A guilty verdict in a criminal case could mean jail time for Musk.
CNBC reported earlier Friday in which Musk pulled the plug on an SEC settlement at the last minute.
“If the settlement deal actually was in which we’re going to kind of slap you on the wrist in addition to you have to step down as chairman For two main years, in which can be a great deal,” Stewart said. “I cannot fathom why they could have walked away coming from in which.”