Elon Musk Claims He's Avoiding SEC Disputes. His Tweets Say Otherwise.

(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk told a federal judge he’s taken his settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seriously and has tried to steer clear of run-ins with the regulator. Followers of his Twitter feed and television interviews may beg to differ.

Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, said in a filing Monday in Manhattan federal court that he’s almost halved his monthly tweets about the electric-car maker, adding that he wanted to “err on the side of caution to avoid unnecessary disputes with the SEC.”

But since reaching a settlement with the SEC in September, Musk, 47, has dubbed the agency the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission,” said the $20 million penalty he paid for problematic tweets was “worth it,” deleted references to the titles he held at Tesla from the company’s website and joked that he may have confused “the authorities,” and told CBS’s “60 Minutes” he had no respect for the regulator.

After the SEC asked a judge to find him in contempt of the settlement over tweets sent last month, the billionaire wrote on Feb. 25 that the agency had forgotten to read Tesla’s transcript from its latest earnings call. He made a comment then that he has argued is consistent with the latest posts that have raised the regulator’s ire.

The next day, Musk wrote in a reply to several of his more than 25 million followers: “Something is broken with SEC oversight.”

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