In 2018, he tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take the carmaker private.
Funding was not secured though – and Tesla was not taken private.
Shareholders argued that the tweet caused them to lose billions of dollars after the share price fell.
However, Tesla’s CEO argued that he believed he had obtained money from a Saudi Arabian investment fund and had not committed securities fraud.
If the San Francisco jury rules in favor of the shareholder, Mr. Musk could be ordered to pay billions of dollars in damages.
He has already paid $20m to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for the August 7, 2018 tweet, while Tesla had to pay another $20m.
The SEC also removed Elon Musk as Tesla’s chairman as a result of the tweet.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
His tweet has become famous in Silicon Valley, as it shows the immense power of 140 characters on Twitter.
Legal experts said they believed it would be a difficult case for Mr. Musk to win, and that the fine he paid to the SEC would be used in the case against him. However, jury trials in fraud cases are notoriously difficult to predict.
Mr. Musk wanted the trial to be moved to Texas, arguing that it would not be possible to find an impartial jury in San Francisco.
He argued that mass layoffs at Twitter, a company he bought last year, affected many employees in San Francisco — and that he is not popular in the city.
Elon Musk’s team had argued that a significant majority of potential jurors said they viewed the billionaire negatively.
However, the judge said the trial would proceed in California.
At trial, Elon Musk may testify under oath. The witness list also includes Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and media tycoon James Murdoch.
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Information Source: BBC