Tesla's Musk mocks SEC as judge demands they justify fraud settlement

The SEC's lawsuit also said Musk made a "series of additional materially false and misleading statements" about taking Tesla private and his actions "caused significant confusion and disruption in the market".

Ordinarily, this would just be a formality, but Musk's tweet is certainly not going to help the process go more smoothly. Musk originally refused a settlement but relented on Saturday, agreeing to step down as Tesla's chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

Over the weekend, Musk and the commission agreed to settle fraud charges that stemmed from the executive's loose use of Twitter.

While Musk wanted to fight the SEC, he reportedly had a change of heart when Tesla's stock plummeted almost 14 percent after the lawsuit was announced. "He is just belittling the SEC", Pitt added. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what Musk meant by the tweet.

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One of the terms of the settlement was that Musk would not take any action or make any public statement denying any SEC allegations or "creating the impression that the complaint is without factual basis". However, the government was annoyed with Musk's decision to bail on the original agreement so they doubled down on the conditions for the new settlement.

But Musk and Tesla might not even be out of the woods yet. The letter should explain why the deal is "fair and reasonable", Nathan said in the court order.

Murdoch, who owns roughly 10,000 shares of Tesla also serves on the boards of Sky, TrueX Media, 21st Century Fox, New Corp, and Yankee Global Enterprises, as well as a handful of arts organizations, according to Bloomberg data. Short interest was $10.19 billion, with more than 33 million shares shorted, or almost 26% of the company's float. Tesla stock dropped 2 percent in after-hours trading after Thursday's tweet. The stock is down about 12% in 2018.

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