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U.S. says Nikola founder indicted for misleading investors | Automotive News

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NEW YORK — Trevor Milton, the founder of electric truck maker Nikola Corp., has been indicted on charges of making false and misleading statements to investors, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday.

The indictment said that, from November 2019 to September 2020, Milton schemed to defraud investors into buying Nikola shares through statements about the company’s product and technology development.

Milton resigned in September 2020.

The company released a statement in response to the indictment:

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“Trevor Milton resigned from Nikola on September 20, 2020, and has not been involved in the company’s operations or communications since that time. Today’s government actions are against Mr. Milton individually, and not against the company.

“Nikola 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.”

Last September, Hindenburg Research said in a paper that it was short-selling Nikola stock and labeled the company a “fraud” — a charge it denied.

In November, Nikola said it received grand jury subpoenas related to the matter.

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