Billionaire investor Sam Zell can’t seem to wrap his head around how Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasn’t penalized for making a false statement on Twitter about taking the company private.
“I don't understand it,” Zell told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an appearance on “Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street” on Friday. “The company loses money -- the company loses money after significant subsidies from state and federal governments and still loses money.”
Musk shocked investors last month with a tweet about taking the electric carmaker private at $420 per share and claimed that funding had already been “secured.” In Zell’s opinion his public statement was unlawful.
“It's got a guy who's the CEO who does things on Twitter that everybody else goes to jail for,” said Zell. “I would go jail if I announced that I was taking one of my companies private -- funding secured.”
“I mean, they would hang me out to dry... How come he gets a pass?”
After the tweets, Tesla shares soared, were then halted by the Nasdaq and resumed trading to end the session 11 percent higher. The jump squeezed short sellers, who Musk has often sparred with, costing them more than $1 billion, according to S3 Partners.
The company is reportedly under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice after the bombshell tweets.
FOX Business reported last month that the Securities and Exchange Commission ramped up its investigation over the comments.
Catch Bartiromo’s full interview with Zell tonight at 8 p.m. ET.