Nikola founder convicted of fraud

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NEW YORK – Nikola Corp founder Trevor Milton on Friday was convicted by a U.S. jury of fraud in a situation alleging he lied to investors about the electric vehicle company’s technological know-how.

The jury located Milton responsible on 1 rely of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud immediately after deliberating for all over five several hours. Milton was acquitted on an more depend of securities fraud.

Through the demo in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors depicted Milton, 40, as a “con person” who sought to deceive investors about the electric powered- and hydrogen-run truck maker’s technological innovation starting up in November 2019.

Milton, of Oakley, Utah, was indicted in July 2021. He still left Nikola in September 2020 following a report by limited seller Hindenburg Study known as the company a “fraud.”

Prosecutors accused Milton of applying social media and interviews on television, podcasts and in print to make wrong and deceptive promises about Nikola’s trucks and technological know-how.

They claimed Milton’s incorrect statements integrated that Nikola designed an electric powered- and hydrogen-powered “Badger” pickup from the “floor up,” made batteries in-household that he understood it was paying for somewhere else and experienced early success in generating a “Nikola A person” semi-truck he understood did not operate.

Milton’s statements about Nikola arrived as the organization joined the mounting range of tech and EV businesses likely general public as a result of particular function acquisition autos or SPACs. He also was accused of defrauding the vendor of a Utah ranch, who acknowledged Nikola inventory options as part of the purchase price dependent on Milton’s statements about the firm.

The defense and the prosecution sent closing arguments to the jury on Thursday in a demo that started on Sept. 13. The prosecution said Milton was obsessed with the company’s inventory price tag and built the statements to inflate it and his personal web worthy of. The defense claimed prosecutors experienced distorted Milton’s statements about Nikola’s plans to shake up the automotive market.

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