Nikola founder, Trevor Milton, was convicted by a US jury of fraud in a case alleging he lied to investors about his company's technology. He potentially faces several years in prison.
The jury found Nikola's founder, Trevor Milton, guilty on a count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Milton was acquitted on another count of securities fraud. Milton potentially faces several years in prison, according to CNN Business.
It has been alleged that Milton made false and misleading statements about nearly every aspect of the business. “Trevor Milton lied to Nikola’s investors—over and over and over again. That's fraud, plain and simple,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement after the verdict was released. “Let this case serve as a warning to anyone who plays fast and loose with the truth to get investors to part with their money. It won't end well."
Nicola went public in 2020 and briefly outsold Ford that year, despite never delivering a vehicle. In 2020, General Motors announced that it had planned to invest in Nikola and work together on an electric truck. GM also planned to supply the startup with equipment for its hydrogen fuel cell trucks. The deal was later dropped by GM.
Nikola’s shares fell sharply once Milton was forced out of the company in September 2020, after the company’s board of directors found that some of the fraud allegations made by short-seller Hindenburg Research had merit, according to CNBC.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.