The former chairman and founder of Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA), Trevor Milton, has charges of making fallacious statements in electric vehicle start-ups. Mr. Milton is accused of passing wrong statements, which impacted the investors. The former founder’s actions landed the company in a challenging year, which had recently gone public. The company came into the radar for wrong reasons immediately and faced questions regarding its technology and production.
Misleading investors charges
Mr. Milton, 39, had stepped down from his designation in 2020. However, he is charged with misleading the investors from November 2019 until September 2020. Federal prosecutors have levied the charges in New York. Facing the criminal indictment, Mr. Milton voluntarily surrendered and accepted the charges to federal custody. The judge after that freed him on bail that cost him $100 million. The judge freed Mr. Milton after he pleaded not guilty. Additionally, he paid bail security of Utah-based 2,700-acre ranch, which he owns. Additionally, Milton has promised to limit his travels and remaining contactless with the investors.
The attorney’s charges
The New York Southern District’s U.S. Attorney, Audrey Strauss, said that Milton had lied to drive Nikola stock’s investor demand. The misleading information came from all aspects of the business.
In yet another complaint, Milton is also accused of fiddling with the company’s information regarding the products and technology. In addition, he has charges of selling the idea of Nikola as a trail-blazing firm with proven milestones. In reality, Nikola is an early-stage company with novel ideas for commercializing products and technology that still need to prove themselves.
His lawyers said that Mr. Milton would plead “not guilty” even though his company has also published the findings of his misstatements after an internal investigation. Meanwhile, the company said it would cooperate with all investigations since the government is taking actions against an individual and not the company.