Federal prosecutors said that Nikola founder Trevor Milton will doubtless obtain an 11-year jail sentence for defrauding buyers, Reuters studies. Milton was convicted final yr on two counts of wire fraud and a depend of safety fraud. In the course of the trial, prosecutors known as Milton a “con man” and argued that he lied about the electrical and hydrogen-powered truck producer when he led the corporate.
Milton purposely made feedback about the corporate, particularly the automaker’s useless marquee pickup truck, to mislead buyers. Whereas the Badger pickup was unveiled in February 2020, the truck was described internally as “vaporware” regardless of Milton regularly stating it was accomplished. He additionally claimed on social media that the Badger could be fitted with a consuming fountain.
The Nikola founder had a vested curiosity in how the corporate was perceived. Together with the shares he held, Milton was slated to earn much more shares if Nikola reached sure inventory value milestones. He made false claims about Nikola decreasing the price of hydrogen manufacturing and lied in regards to the firm’s battery manufacturing capabilities.
In keeping with courtroom paperwork, Milton even advised a possible fleet buyer to double their reservation order from 50 to 100 vans. He advised the client that he would half the refundable deposit so it wouldn’t price extra.
Milton is scheduled to be sentenced on December 18. Nikola paid a $125 million settlement with the Securities and Trade Fee over the matter in 2021. Milton resigned from his place at Nikola in September 2020, however the truckmaker has been trying to restore its picture ever since.