Elon Musk’s SEC Deal Seen as Diminishing Threat of Criminal Probe

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Elon Musk’s decision to pay $20 million to end a civil investigation into his tweets about taking Tesla Inc. private reduces the chance that criminal prosecutors will go after the executive, according to former prosecutors and other criminal-law experts.

The Justice Department has sought information from Tesla about Mr. Musk’s tweets on August 7, which spurred a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that Mr. Musk and his company settled on Saturday. The outcome calls for Mr. Musk to step down as chairman and for Tesla to…

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