A federal grand jury charged Trevor Milton, founder and former chairman of EV startup Nikola, with three counts of felony fraud, Bloomberg studies.
He’s accused of mendacity about “almost all facets of the enterprise” to extend inventory gross sales of the electrical automobile startup, in keeping with an indictment unsealed Thursday.
Particularly, prosecutors charged him with two counts of securities fraud, together with making false statements in regards to the electrical truck firm, and wire fraud.
In a separate grievance filed the identical day, the Securities and Trade Fee commented the next:
Milton offered a model of Nikola not because it was — an early-stage firm with a novel concept to commercialize yet-to-be confirmed merchandise and expertise — however fairly as a trail-blazing firm that had already achieved many groundbreaking and game-changing milestones.
“Trevor Milton is harmless,” his legal professionals stated in a press release. “It is a new low within the authorities’s efforts to criminalize lawful enterprise conduct. Each government in America ought to be horrified.”
Milton, who surrendered voluntarily to federal custody, pleaded not responsible to the felony prices in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday afternoon.
He was additionally freed on a $100 million bail secured by his 2,700-acre property in Utah.
Nikola has developed hydrogen electrical semi-trucks aimed on the European market, whereas, final fall, the corporate introduced a partnership with Basic Motors to develop a pick-up truck powered by Nikola’s hydrogen gasoline cell.
However now the corporate’s future appears fairly ominous. Nikola’s shares closed down 15% on Thursday to $12.03, the largest drop since January, whereas the inventory is down 21% year-to-date.
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