Tesla CEO Musk calls the SEC 'the Shortseller Enrichment Commission'

Wil James Murdoch be the new Chairman of Tesla?

"Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work", Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the electric vehicle company, wrote on Twitter.

The SEC did not comment on Mr Musk's tweets, nor did Tesla.

Musk has long derided short sellers, who bet against a company's stock, for their thirst for Tesla's stock to decline.

Tesla's stock dipped more than 2% during after hours trading.

The SEC had charged Musk with securities fraud, alleging that he misled investors when he tweeted on August 7 that he had "funding secured" to privatize the electric automaker at US$420 a share, a substantial premium over its share price at the time.

We all know the story by now: Musk suggested on Twitter that Saudi Arabia would be taking Tesla private, sending shares soaring, but changed his mind shortly after, resulting in the SEC filing a lawsuit against Musk saying that he had been manipulating shares. The deal settled charges that Musk made false and misleading statements about having secured the funding to take Tesla private. In fact, the head of the investors from Tesla wrote to Elon Musk whether the decision was the text legit.

The post risks putting back in play stiffer forms of punishment that the SEC sought last week, including a prohibition on Musk serving as officer of a public company. "But just for SEC enforcement action, particularly with a big fine, it's unusual", Jay Hulings said. A judge has yet to approve the settlement.

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"The board has a duty to shareholders to ensure that they are exercising their fiduciary oversight of the company, including the leadership and management", Courteney Keatinge, director of ESG at the proxy advisor, told Business Insider. Tesla didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Musk, 47, agreed to step down as chairman within 45 days and be replaced with an independent director.

As part of his settlement, Musk has 45 days to vacate his role as chairman of Tesla's board, which has come under fire in recent months by critics who think it should exercise more enough control over the sometimes-erratic billionaire. It is also unclear whether this money will be used to cover Musk's $20 million SEC fine.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. PT with Musk's tweet about short sellers.

His extraordinary slap at federal regulators comes as U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said on Thursday that Musk and the SEC would have one week to justify their settlement to resolve securities fraud charges against the CEO.

Yet on Friday, Musk fired off another damn-the-consequences tweet, calling the SEC the "shortseller enrichment committee".

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