Nikola founder Trevor Milton convicted of defrauding investors in e-truck startup

S&P 500




Dow 30








Russell 2000




Crude Oil
















10-Yr Bond
















CMC Crypto 200




FTSE 100




Nikkei 225




Nikola (NKLA) founder Trevor Milton was found guilty of three counts of criminal fraud on Friday in a case accusing him of spreading lies about the electric truck startup for his own personal benefit.

A federal jury in Manhattan found Milton, 40, guilty of two counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud, with the top charge carrying a prison sentence of up to 25 years, according to Bloomberg and other news reports. Milton pleaded not guilty to all of the government’s charges.

Nikola gained notoriety in September 2020, when short seller Hindenburg Research alleged that the company had spun up an “ocean of lies” to deceive investors. Memorably, Hindenburg accused Nikola of releasing a deceptive video making it seem as if its Nikola One semi-truck were traveling under its own power at a high rate of speed when, in fact, it was just rolling down a hill.

Trevor Milton, founder and former-CEO of Nikola Corp., exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse following an appearance in New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Milton resigned from the company days after the Hindenburg report, and in July 2021, Manhattan prosecutors charged him with defrauding investors to drive up the value of his company’s stock. Prosecutors say Milton lied about the capabilities of Nikola’s trucks and fueling infrastructure between November 2019 and the month he stepped down.

Nikola, founded in 2015, made its public debut on June 4, 2020, through a merger with VectoIQ Acquisition Corp (VTIQ), a special acquisition company formed by former General Motors (GM) employees.

Prosecutors said Milton promoted the misleading video of the Nikola One semi-truck to make it appear as if it could drive on its own propulsion. He’s also accused of lying about the existence of hydrogen fuel manufacturing and fueling facilities, as well as deceiving investors about the costs of hydrogen production. Milton also allegedly made false statements about its Badger pickup truck, truck orders, and battery technology.

Milton tapped social media platforms including Twitter (TWTR) and YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) to spread his lies, prosecutors said. That drummed up support for the company’s stock — especially from retail investors, according to prosecutors.

Trevor Milton, founder and former-CEO of Nikola Corp., departs the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York, U.S., September 12, 2022. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

The deception turned Milton into a billionaire whose stock was worth $8.5 billion, according to prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams tweeted on Friday that other would-be fraudsters should take note of Milton’s conviction. “Trevor Milton lied to Nikola’s investors — over and over and over again. That’s fraud, plain and simple, and this Office has no patience for it. Never has, never will. Let this case serve as a warning,” he tweeted. “Anyone who plays fast and loose with the truth to get investors to part with their money. It won’t end well.”

Prior to the criminal case, Nikola agreed to pay $125 million in fines to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that it misled investors about its products, technical advancements, and commercial prospects.

The jury began deliberations on Friday after a nine-day delay due to COVID-19. In an email to Yahoo Finance Nikola stated that it was not commenting on Milton’s trial.

However, in a statement issued at the time of Milton’s indictment, the company noted that the government’s actions against Milton were brought against him, individually, and not against the company.

“The company has cooperated with the government throughout the course of its inquiry. 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 statement said.

Nikola, once worth north of $65 a share, was trading at roughly $3 at market close on Friday.

Alexis Keenan is a legal reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow Alexis on Twitter @alexiskweed.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

Find live stock market quotes and the latest business and finance news

For tutorials and information on investing and trading stocks, check out Cashay



Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Guilty of Defrauding Investors

(Bloomberg) — Nikola Corp. founder Trevor Milton was convicted of fraud for misleading investors in the electric truck company, a stunning downfall for the door-to-door salesman turned billionaire who promised to revolutionize the auto industry. Most Read from BloombergWorld Faces New Threats From Fast-Mutating Omicron VariantsRolex Prices to Drop Further as Supply Surges: Morgan StanleyStocks Upended by Inflation Survey’s Sobering View: Markets WrapPutin Tried for Years to Stop His Military Fr


Nikola founder Trevor Milton convicted on three charges of fraud

Trevor Milton, the founder and former executive chairman of Nikola, has been found guilty on three counts of fraud for misleading the electric vehicle company’s investors about its business and technology.

Yahoo Sports

Saints RB Alvin Kamara sued for $10 million over alleged battery in Las Vegas

Kamara and four friends allegedly beat a man unconscious and fractured his orbital bone in February.


Analysis-Kroger looks to fight both inflation and Walmart with new merger

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The $25-billion merger of Kroger and Albertsons could ultimately lead to lower prices for shoppers, at least according to a plan laid out Friday by Kroger’s CEO. In an interview with Reuters, Kroger Co CEO Rodney McMullen said the savings provided by the deal would allow the chains to cut prices for consumers. McMullen said the combined entity could better compete head to head with “larger, non-union” grocers – a reference to players such as Walmart Inc and Target Corp, both of which also sell groceries.

UnitedHealth’s Solid Earnings Could Be Bad News for Hospitals, Medical Device Makers

The earnings are a closely watched bellwether for the broader healthcare sector, and while the indications for other insurers are good, a lower-than-expected medical cost ratio could raise concerns about the performance of healthcare providers. UnitedHealth (ticker: UNH) reported adjusted earnings of $5.79 per share for the quarter, beating the FactSet consensus estimate of $5.43 per share. Revenue for the quarter were $80.9 billion, up 12% since the same quarter last year, and roughly in-line with the FactSet consensus estimate of $80.3 billion.


India Sells Sugar in ‘Golden Opportunity’ on Tight Global Market

(Bloomberg) — Sugar makers in India are signing deals with traders and exporters on optimism that the government will soon announce overseas sales quotas for the season that starts this month.Most Read from BloombergWorld Faces New Threats From Fast-Mutating Omicron VariantsStocks Surge in Wild Ride After CPI Data Selloff: Markets WrapKroger Wants to Merge With Albertsons to Create US Grocery GiantCore US Inflation Rises to 40-Year High, Securing Big Fed HikeHot Inflation Torches Bears in a Sto


Rupee mostly flat on week, premiums plunge on RBI intervention

The Indian rupee reached a record low versus the dollar this week but managed to recoup a large part of its losses, thanks to likely intervention by the country’s central bank in both spot and forwards. The local unit dropped to a record low of 82.6825 at the start of this week, prompting the Reserve Bank of India to step in. The RBI intervened heavily on Monday and Tuesday, traders said, and there was likely some sporadic intervention on the other days.


After spate of gangster heists, Chile boosts security on copper trains

Chilean authorities will beef up security on trains carrying cargoes of copper, a senior official said on Thursday, after a spate of violent heists that have been blamed on international organized crime gangs. FCAB, a major mining railway operator, suspended the transport of copper earlier this week following a series of attacks and thefts, forcing mines in the world’s top copper producer to look for other transport routes. Chile’s interior deputy secretary Manuel Monsalve announced on Thursday new measures to strengthen train security after meeting with the general manager of FCAB, the train freight arm of Chile-focused miner Antofagasta Plc.


There’s no rush to buy I-bonds

This week’s worse-than-expected inflation report led to turmoil in more than one market, but you only read about one of them. What got far less attention was the flurry of excitement that the inflation report caused in the normally-staid I-bond market.

Yahoo Sports Videos

What punishment will Davante Adams receive for shoving photographer? | You Pod To Win The Game

Yahoo Sports Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and NFL Writer Jori Epstein discuss Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams shoving a photographer to the ground after the team’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, and debate what punishment the NFL should levy against Adams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *