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Elon Musk to step down as Telsa chairman, pay $20 million fine

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Sep 29, 2018, 6:48 PM EDT

Elon Musk, the closest thing the world has to a real-life Tony Stark, has stepped down as the chairman of Tesla, The New York Times reports. His removal is part of an agreement with the SEC, which began a securities fraud lawsuit against the company on Sept. 27.

Along with removing himself from his company, Musk will also pay a $20 million fine as part of the agreement. These conditions come after Musk previously turned down a term of two years out of the company and only a $10 million fine. It is unknown as to why Musk changed his mind and went with the stricter parameters.

An Aug. 7 tweet Musk made, in which he told shareholders that the company was on the verge of a buyout at $420 a share, was what sparked the lawsuit. Now Tesla’s stock has dropped 13% since the announcement of the suit.

Two independent directors have been hired to monitor any communication Musk has with the company’s investors, and a committee has been formed to oversee all business disclosures.

So far, Musk has neither confirmed nor denied misleading shareholders in any way.