New York/San Francisco — The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Tesla CEO Elon Musk of fraud and sought to remove him from his role in charge of the electric car company. Musk made a series of “false and misleading" tweets about potentially taking Tesla private last month, the SEC said on Thursday. Musk is the public face of Tesla and losing him would be a big blow for the money-losing carmaker, which has a market value of more than $50bn, chiefly because of investors' belief in Musk's leadership. The US justice department, which has the authority to press criminal charges, has also questioned the company about Musk's tweets, the company said this month. Tesla shares tumbled 12% in after-hours trading. "Elon is Tesla and Tesla is Elon and that's great when Elon is scoring touchdowns and grand slams but not so great when there are negative things tied to him," said Karl Brauer, executive publisher at car research firm Kelley Blue Book. Musk said he had done nothi...

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