Founder of Electric Vehicle Start-up Company Indicted on Fraud for Lying to Increase Stock Sales

By B.N. Frank

In Electric Vehicle (EV) news this week, Toyota has been accused of funding a smear campaign to slow EV sales, and EV entrepreneur Trevor Milton has been indicted for fraud.

From CNBC:

Grand jury indicts Trevor Milton, founder of electric carmaker Nikola, on three counts of fraud

Key Points

  • Federal criminal fraud charges against Trevor Milton accuse the Nikola founder of lying about “nearly all aspects of the business.”
  • The grand jury charged the billionaire, who resigned as chairman in September, with two counts of securities fraud and wire fraud.
  • Nikola said in an emailed statement that it has “cooperated with the government throughout the course of its inquiry.”
  • Its stock price sank on news of the indictment.

A federal grand jury charged Nikola founder Trevor Milton with three counts of criminal fraud for lying about “nearly all aspects of the business” to bolster stock sales of the electric vehicle start-up, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan accused the 39-year-old billionaire, who resigned as chairman in September, with two counts of securities fraud, including making false statements about the company, and wire fraud.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil securities fraud charges against Milton on Thursday. The SEC asked the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to permanently bar him from acting as an officer at a company that issues securities, to disgorge all ill-gotten gains and pay a fine.

“This is a very straightforward case, Milton told lies to generate popular demand for Nikola stock, Beginning at least in or about March 2020, when Nikola announced that its stock would become publicly listed, Milton became increasingly preoccupied with keeping Nikola’s stock price high,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss told reporters at a press briefing Thursday.

Milton maintains that he’s innocent. His legal team, led by Brad Bondi, said Milton was “wrongfully accused following a faulty and incompetent investigation,” and that justice won’t be served until he’s exonerated, according to an emailed statement sent Thursday.

Read the full statement from Milton’s legal team…

Read full article

Electric Vehicles have also been in the spotlight repeatedly for serious and occasionally deadly problems, some of which have led to recalls (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).  Health experts have also raised concerns about high levels of harmful electromagnetic radiation emissions from EVs as well as hybrid models ( see 1, 2, 3).  In fact, recently a lawsuit was filed by an EV owner who claims to have been severely injured from driving his.  Got pets?  Research has determined that exposure can affect them too.

Regardless, EV manufacturers have not been deterred by any of this, though maybe they’ll be deterred by Milton’s indictment.  Perhaps Toyota has nothing to worry about after all.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites.

Image: Pixabay

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