Elon Musk straight-up taunts the SEC on Twitter

Tesla shares fell as Elon Musk mocked the U.S. financial markets watchdog on Twitter, describing it as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission".

The CEO of the electric vehicle maker (TSLA) fired off a tweet Thursday afternoon in an apparent snub of the Securities and Exchange Commission, referring to the agency as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission". However, at the last minute, Musk's lawyer reportedly called the SEC and told them that his client was no longer interested in settling.

"Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work", Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the electric auto company, wrote on Twitter.

Musk agreed to pay a $20 million fine, and step aside as Tesla's chairman for three years, to settle charges that could have forced his exit from Tesla.

Nevertheless, Musk doubled down on Thursday after getting questioned by another Twitter user about the tweet.

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"It bolsters the SEC's argument that to the extent he was misrepresenting the facts, that he was [tweeting] to screw with the shortsellers", Alma Angotti, a managing director at Navigant and former SEC senior counsel said.

On Thursday, the federal judge responsible for green-lighting the settlement asked the SEC and Musk to provide a joint statement explaining why the deal should be approved. The company has declined to provide detail in recent days over what those controls would entail.

The tweet came less than four hours after U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan ordered Musk and the SEC to explain by October 11 in a joint letter why their settlement was fair and reasonable and would not hurt the public interest.

Musk is believed to have experienced a change of heart after seeing Tesla's stock plunge the following morning. Nathan must approve the settlement's terms. "Naughty by Nature", he tweeted, including a winking face.

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