Mark Cuban reportedly urged Tesla's Musk to settle SEC fraud charges

  • Mark Cuban prodded Tesla CEO Elon Musk to settle his dispute with SEC over charges he defrauded investors, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
  • Musk had said he had turned down the initial offer because he felt he would not be true to himself by settling the case.
Mark Cuban and Elon Musk. 
Getty Images
Mark Cuban and Elon Musk. 

Mark Cuban prodded Tesla CEO Elon Musk to settle his dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges he defrauded investors, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Cuban spent about 15 minutes on the phone urging Musk to reconsider his position after Musk rejected the SEC's original settlement offer on Sept. 27 that would have required a $10 million fine and step down as chairman for two years. The deal settled charges that Musk made false and misleading statements about having secured the funding to take Tesla private.

Tesla was not available for comment to CNBC or the Wall Street Journal.

Musk had said he had turned down the initial offer because he felt he would not be true to himself by settling the case. The SEC formally brought charges hours later.

Musk's dispute with the SEC originated on Aug. 7, when Musk said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share, and that he had already secured the funding.

Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, once won his own five-year dispute with the agency on charges of insider trading. He called Musk at the request from one of Musk's lawyers, the Journal reported. The call apparently played a major role in changing Musk's mind, the Journal said.

Musk settled with the SEC on Saturday, agreeing to $20 million in fines for himself and another $20 million for Tesla, and agreeing to step down as chairman for at least three years.

On Thursday, the judge in the case requested a joint letter from Musk and the SEC explaining why the court should approve the settlement.

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