A Tesla’s shareholder has sued Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla, for insider trading. Michael Perry, the plaintiff, accuses Musk of selling more than $7.5 billion in Tesla stocks in the final quarter of 2022 before disappointing production and delivery results were released.

Tesla Shareholder Files $7.5 Billion Insider Trading

Overview Table:

Key DetailsInformation
PlaintiffMichael Perry (Tesla Shareholder)
DefendantElon Musk (Tesla CEO)
AllegationInsider trading by selling $7.5 billion Tesla shares before poor Q4 2022 results
Claimed Profit$3 billion in insider profits
Lawsuit DemandsReturn of profits from the trades
Timing of SalesNovember and December 2022
Lawsuit FiledDelaware Chancery Court

Declining Stock Price And Stolen Gains

The lawsuit claims that Tesla’s average share price declined immediately after the company delivered its Q4 2022 financial results on the 2nd January, 2023. Source also reminds that according to Perry, Musk had inside profits of roughly $3 billion resulting from these trades.

“Musk abused his status at Tesla and he acted negligently and in breach of his fiduciary responsibilities to Tesla,” the lawsuit claims.

In addition, the lawsuit requires the court to order Musk to pay damages for the profits made from the insider trading.

Timing Of Share Sales And Access To Real Time Data

Perry seems to have claimed that Musk was selling the shares on different dates in November and December 2022 when the information about the company’s fourth-quarter results, which were significantly lower than expectations, was not yet public. The lawsuit also claims that Musk, having access to real-time data, learnt about the low numbers in mid November.

“If (Musk) had waited to make these sales until after the release of material adverse news,. .. his sales would have netted him less than 55% of the amounts released from his November and December 2022 sales,” the lawsuit claims.

Demand Concerns And Stock Tank 

Accompanying the advances in technology and perception of increased business efficiencies, demand concerns have emerged as a critical issue when evaluating changes in stock tanks.

Tesla, for instance, suffered a major blow in its stock when it released its fourth-quarter numbers in January following news of vehicle price discounts that attracted demand concerns. This further strengthened the arguments that Musk manipulated the stocks to go down immediately after he sold his shares with all the knowledge of how they would be affected.

Allegations Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Tesla and Musk also face allegations that the directors violated their fiduciary duties because they allowed Musk to sell the shares. This aims at asserting that the directors have lacked capacity to cease Musk from utilising his role at Tesla for his individual benefits.

Legal Issues Are Following Elon Musk

This new case is not the first legal issue that Musk finds himself in. He is at the moment experiencing a lot of resistance from some of the firm’s investors who are to vote on the 13th of June concerning the ratification of his $56 billion pay deal, which a judge from Delaware annulled in January on a procedural ground.

Moreover, Musk is under a regulatory probe regarding the violation of federal securities laws in 2022 when he purchased stock in the social media trading company Twitter, which is now renamed as X. Tesla’s current CEO and tech billionaire Elon Musk has in the past openly complained that the SEC is targeting him through unnecessary probes.

The tensions between Musk and the SEC started back in the summer of 2018 when he tweeted about Tesla going private using the “funding secured” statement he was accused of securities fraud.

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla shareholder Michael Perry has sued Elon Musk for insider trading, claiming that he sold $7.5 billion worth of Tesla shares before Q4 2022 poor results.
  • The lawsuit names Musk and accuses him of having made $3 billion in insider profits and seeks the return of those profits.
  • Musk is charged with negligence and violation of his standing duties of managing Tesla for his own benefit.
  • Tesla’s directors are also accused of violating their fiduciary responsibility by permitting Musk to sell its shares.
  • The lawsuit denotes Musk’s other legal issues, such as a shareholder rebellion against his $56 bn compensation package and a SEC investigation on his tweets’ inside information used to buy Twitter (X).


This insider trading complaint against Elon Musk has left everyone in the tech and financial markets stunned. In the light of the legal actions taken the consequences may be far reaching ranging from financial penalties, compensation, and biting of the dust for the flamboyant entrepreneur. This case, which threatens to have potentially huge consequences for economic stakeholders and legal norms of accountability and insider trading, will have investors and regulators intently observing. It is therefore a rather sensitive court case, which will and should be examined from all legal points of view.

More information on this high-profile insider trading suit against one of the world’s most influential and buzz-worthy tech moguls will be published soon.