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Elon Musk - the founder, CEO, and lead designer at SpaceX, and the co-founder of Tesla - speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, US, July 19, 2017.

Tesla and its billionaire chief Elon Musk were hit by two new lawsuits yesterday, over claims that Musk's surprise proposal to take the company private was scheme created to target short-sellers of Tesla stock.

Short-sellers make a profit by borrowing overpriced shares, selling them and then buying them back at what they hope will be a lower price.

The Twitter comments could potentially affect Musk's legal situation.

The lawsuits were filed three days after Musk stunned investors by announcing on Twitter that he might take Tesla private in a record $72 billion transaction that valued the company at $420 per share, and that "funding" had been "secured".

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is understood to have already opened an inquiry into Mr Musk's tweets.

Musk's attitude toward short sellers could be relevant, securities law experts have said.

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Strength and conditioning coach Rick Court is the most frequently named member of the coaching staff, though head coach D.J. McNair, 19, reportedly died of heatstroke in June after being hospitalized with a body temperature of 106 degrees.

Musk's August 7 tweets helped push Tesla's stock price more than 13 percent above the prior day's close.

The worst affected segment appears to be the short-sellers in the market who sell high and do the repurchase later.

Late Friday Musk mocked short investors in a series of tweets, suggesting his antipathy toward them hasn't dimmed. "What are your fav short shorts?"

Both lawsuits accused Musk or Tesla of harming short sellers with false information.

"It's hard for me to think that these blasts are going to get him in trouble", Cox said.

Tesla shares rose 13% after the Tesla announcement but the company's stock has since given up two-thirds of that gain.

Musk, often the center of controversy, did not prove he had the funds to finance the operation - despite tweeting "funding secured". Others, however, stayed silent as they have yet to see more detailed financial evidence from Musk.


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