In a high-stakes legal battle, attorneys representing Tesla CEO Elon Musk are calling for the dismissal of a multi-billion dollar case accusing the celebrity entrepreneur of insider trading with Dogecoin (DOGE) against his online followers. The lawyers argue that the accusations should be dismissed with prejudice, preventing plaintiffs from burdening the judicial system with additional unfounded claims based on Musk’s Twitter activity.
Musk’s lawyer, Alex Shapiro, filed a letter in a New York federal court on Monday, strongly criticizing the repeated plea attempts by disgruntled investors as “baseless” and “frivolous.” According to Shapiro, the lawsuit is “based on nothing more than Mr. Musk’s innocuous and often silly tweets” about DOGE. He argues that there is nothing illegal about expressing support or sharing humorous content related to a cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of over $11 billion.
The initial complaint, filed in June 2022, sought $258 billion from Musk to compensate investors for losses allegedly incurred as a result of his promotion of DOGE in early 2021. Since then, the lawsuit has been amended three times, with lead attorney Evan Spencer adding insider trading and market manipulation charges by June 2023. The latest filing identified specific wallets that Musk supposedly used for DOGE trades, impacting the asset’s price through his tweets. However, Musk’s legal team argues that the plaintiffs have failed to prove that any of the identified wallets actually belong to the CEO.
The defense counters the allegations by suggesting that Musk’s tweets were mere “puffery.” Puffery refers to vague and exaggerated statements that can’t be interpreted literally or hold precise intent. Some of the alleged “falsehoods” highlighted by the plaintiffs include tweets such as “Dogecoin to the moooonn” and “Dogecoin will live forever.” However, the defense claims that these statements fall under puffery, emphasizing that they should not be taken as factual representations.
Both parties acknowledge that Dogecoin is a highly speculative investment. However, the defense argues that this fact is widely known and apparent to the public, with Dogecoin founder Billy Markus himself acknowledging its speculative nature. Therefore, they assert that Musk’s tweets did not mislead or deceive investors.
The insider trading accusation put forth by the plaintiffs is strongly disputed by Musk’s legal team. According to Evan Spencer, the plaintiffs’ claim “fails on its face” as Musk’s private intentions regarding his tweets about Dogecoin do not constitute material non-public information. They assert that the plaintiffs have failed to provide a sufficiently particularized complaint that establishes a cause of action.
Musk’s lawyers conclude that the plaintiffs’ four complaints in this case have fallen short of presenting any valid cause of action. Despite multiple attempts, the allegations remain unsubstantiated and lack the necessary specificity. The defense firmly believes that the case should be dismissed to prevent further unwarranted claims from burdening the judicial system.
In this contentious legal battle over Musk’s Dogecoin-related tweets, both sides passionately argue their positions. Only time will tell how the court will assess the validity of the claims and determine the outcome of the case.