Elon Musk's claims of numerous unverified fake Twitter accounts, used to end his acquisition of the social media platform, were a ruse to covertly sell Tesla options about to expire, some Twitter influencers suggested.
Musk on Friday sent a letter to Twitter's board saying he was terminating the $44-billion deal to buy the Big Tech entity. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO had complained that his team could not verify the amount of fake accounts on the platform.
While both sides prepared for a lengthy court battle, some notable Twitter users were suggesting an alternate theory for Musk's change of heart.
"Entire thing was a clever ruse to sell + liquidate $8.5 billion of Tesla Stock (w/plausible excuse for doing it)," Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital, tweeted Friday after the announcement.
Wolfe’s tweet included math that suggested Musk would walk away with $7.5 billion in liquidated stock — even after paying the $1 billion breakup fee.
"Honestly think he can 'land rockets' but can't fix 'bots'?" Wolfe asked rhetorically.
Insider founder and CEO Henry Blodget retweeted Wolfe’s post, and added that Musk's 10-year Tesla options were about to expire, "so he had to sell them."
"The Twitter bid did allow him to do that without his facing questions about why he was selling. And he sold at an excellent price!" Blodget wrote.
The Daily Mail reported Monday that if Musk's Twitter deal falls through, experts said the billionaire will save $400 million of his $1 billion fine by writing it off as a tax loss.
"It's good to keep in mind that the payment would be treated as a capital loss, which [Musk] can use to offset capital gains he realized upon his recent sales of some of his portfolio holdings," New York tax lawyer Robert Willens said.
"If that capital loss can offset short-term capital gains, the real cost of the termination fee would be reduced by about 40% of its face amount."
Late Sunday night, Musk took to Twitter to post a meme of himself laughing at the company's plans to sue him and force him to finish out his corporate takeover.
In the meme, the Musk is shown laughing in four different images, along with captions that eventually point out that if Twitter sues him, it will be forced to disclose information about the specific number of fake or automated accounts on the social media platform.
"They said I couldn't buy Twitter. Then they wouldn't disclose bot info. Now they want to force me to buy Twitter in court. Now they have to disclose bot info in court," Musk wrote on as captions on the post.
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