US prosecutors accuse Nikola’s founder of fraud – .

US prosecutors accuse Nikola’s founder of fraud – .

CEO and Founder of US Nikola Trevor Milton speaks during the presentation of his new fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks in partnership with CNH Industrial, at an event in Turin, Italy, on December 2, 2019.
Massimo Pinca | Reuters
Trevor Milton, founder of start-up EV Nikola, has been indicted on three counts of criminal fraud by a federal grand jury for lying about “almost every aspect of the business,” the office said Thursday. US attorney in Manhattan.
Prosecutors have indicted the billionaire, who resigned as president in September, with two counts of securities fraud, including misrepresentation about the company and wire fraud.

“Milton’s scheme targeted non-professional individual investors – the so-called retail investors – by making false and misleading statements directly to the investing public through social media and television, print and podcast interviews,” said prosecutors in the 49-page indictment.

Nikola shares are down more than 9% on pre-market trading to less than $ 13 per share.

Nicholas Biase, spokesperson for the US attorney’s office, said Milton had surrendered to authorities and is expected to appear in court later today in New York.

Milton, who was the largest shareholder in the company, held around $ 8.5 billion in Nikola shares at the peak of the company’s value.

The grand jury said Milton would forgo all property “traceable to the commission of said offenses,” which would likely include more than a billion dollars he earned when Nikola went public in June 2020.
Prosecutors said Milton “was motivated to engage in the fraudulent scheme in order to enrich himself and elevate his entrepreneurial stature.”

A Milton spokesperson did not immediately comment on the indictment.

Nikola said in an emailed statement that he “has cooperated with the government throughout its investigation.” The company stressed that the allegations were against Milton and not the company itself.

“We remain committed to our previously announced milestones and timelines and are focused on delivering Nikola Tre battery-electric trucks later this year from the company’s manufacturing facilities,” the company said.

Numerous allegations of false and misleading statements were first discovered by short seller Hindenburg Research in September.

Hindenburg accused Milton of making false claims about Nikola’s technology in order to grow the business and partner with automakers. The report, titled “Nikola: How to Pair an Ocean of Lies with Partnering with America’s Biggest Auto Maker,” was released two days after the company announced a deal with General Motors that skyrocketed prices. shares of both companies. He characterized Nikola as a “complex fraud built on dozens of lies” by Milton.

Following an internal investigation, Nikola said in February that he discovered that Milton made several incorrect statements from 2016 during the company’s IPO last year, which misled investors.

This is last minute news. Please check for updates.


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