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Jul 29 - Prosecutors Say Nikola Electric Truck Prototypes Were A Scam



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 2 months ago '17        #1
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zackattack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x8
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Jul 29 - Prosecutors Say Nikola Electric Truck Prototypes Were A Scam
 

 
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The founder of the much-hyped electric truck manufacturer Nikola Corp. has been charged with lying to investors about the supposed technological breakthroughs the company had achieved in order to drive up its stock price, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Trevor Milton, 39, is accused of claiming that his company had successfully manufactured working prototypes of electric trucks and pickup trucks that would turn the industry on its head, when he had, in fact, never built anything.

“At the bottom, this a very simple case: Milton told lies to generate popular demand for his stock,” said Audrey Strauss,, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

At public events, the prototype vehicles were towed into position and were powered by plugs leading from hidden wall sockets.
Milton resigned from Nikola in September as it emerged that the justice department had opened a probe into the startup and its founder over possible false claims. Milton has previously tweeted that he intended to defend himself against “false allegations.”


Prosecutors said Milton was taken into custody Thursday in Manhattan and was later released on a $100 million bond. His attorney, Marc Mukasey, said in an email: “Trevor Milton is innocent. He’s been wrongfully accused after a faulty and incomplete investigation. He will be exonerated after trial.”

In a statement, Nikola said that the indictment was against Milton and not the company, and noted that he had not been involved in the business since last year.

“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,” the statement read.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors said Milton had for years overinflated the technological developments the company had achieved, claiming it had built working prototypes of its Nikola One truck and Badger pickup truck out of parts the company had fully manufactured on its own.

To make it appear the truck prototype was driving, it was towed to the top of a hill and then rolled down to the bottom, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said that, in fact, the prototypes that had been unveiled didn’t function and were Frankenstein monsters cobbled together from parts from other vehicles. At public events, the vehicles were towed into position and were powered by plugs leading from hidden wall sockets.

In one instance, in which the vehicle was filmed for a promotional film, tape was used to keep the doors of a truck prototype from opening, prosecutors said. To make it appear the truck was driving, it was towed to the top of a hill and then rolled down to the bottom, according to the indictment.


Milton allegedly repeatedly said publicly that the prototypes were fully operational and overstated the number of pre-orders the company had received.

Non-traditional IPO

In June 2020, the company went public via a blank-check company, or a SPAC, called VectoIQ Acquisiton. A spokesperson for VectoIQ declined to comment.

Prosecutors said because the company didn’t go public through a traditional IPO, Milton wasn’t bound by the traditional “quiet period” rulings following the listing, and was able to make outlandish public claims on social media about the company’s success in order to drive up the stock price by attracting retail investors.

“Among the retail investors who ultimately invested in Nikola were investors who had no prior experience in the stock market and had begun trading during the COVID-19 pandemic to replace or supplement lost income or to occupy their time while in lockdown,” the indictment read.

Prosecutors said in the initial period following Nikola starting to trade publicly, the value of Milton’s shares shot up by $7 billion. After it emerged the company was under investigation, shares tanked causing many retail investors to lose tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, prosecutors said. In some cases, some investors lost substantial portions of their retirement savings, they said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is running a parallel civil complaint. “Having chosen to promote Nikola through social media, Milton was obligated under the securities laws to communicate completely, accurately and truthfully,” Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement Thursday. “That obligation exists for all public company officials, even those whose companies have only recently entered the public markets through SPAC transactions.”

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21 comments
 

 2 months ago '08        #2
moneybucket 
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hes fu*ked
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 2 months ago '20        #3
Xiox  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Let's see how this goes

 2 months ago '13        #4
Phenom354 
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 2 months ago '12        #5
mars15  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x29
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Tesla is 5+ years ahead of the game. It is what it is. Their supercharger network alone is almost untouched at this time.

 2 months ago '05        #6
db510 
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They where advertising this at CES a couple years back…smh
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 2 months ago '04        #7
franchise  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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 mars15 said
Tesla is 5+ years ahead of the game. It is what it is. Their supercharger network alone is almost untouched at this time.

Tesla has been on the verge of bankruptcy for virtually its entire existence.

Tesla has to pre-sell future models for funding and has missed every production date or deadline they originally offered for those pre sales.

Tesla for the 1st time ever last quarter posted a profit from vehicle sales.


Thats great that you like their cars, but they arent ahead of any real car companies at this point. And if Tesla fumbles at all they can still go bankrupt rather quickly.

They accomplished all of this without any real EV competition... And now those days are ending - they are already losing sales in the number 1 EV country - Norway.
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 2 months ago '05        #8
Sizzler01  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5
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To make it appear the truck prototype was driving, it was towed to the top of a hill and then rolled down to the bottom, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said that, in fact, the prototypes that had been unveiled didn’t function and were Frankenstein monsters cobbled together from parts from other vehicles. At public events, the vehicles were towed into position and were powered by plugs leading from hidden wall sockets.

In one instance, in which the vehicle was filmed for a promotional film, tape was used to keep the doors of a truck prototype from opening, prosecutors said. To make it appear the truck was driving, it was towed to the top of a hill and then rolled down to the bottom, according to the indictment.

dude was a expert scammer...
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 2 months ago '06        #9
bigkilla  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Did none of the investors wonder why all the cars they were shown was always down hill?

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 2 months ago '18        #10
Raymon 
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Once I heard him in an CNBC interview and mentioned they will start making money from the hydrogen sold after they build a hydrogen network station and before all that they have to develop and sell hydrogen semis...I was like naaaah Im good this sh*t gonna eat up so much capital
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 2 months ago '21        #11
Pizzabox 
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 franchise said
Tesla has been on the verge of bankruptcy for virtually its entire existence.

Tesla has to pre-sell future models for funding and has missed every production date or deadline they originally offered for those pre sales.

Tesla for the 1st time ever last quarter posted a profit from vehicle sales.


Thats great that you like their cars, but they arent ahead of any real car companies at this point. And if Tesla fumbles at all they can still go bankrupt rather quickly.

They accomplished all of this without any real EV competition... And now those days are ending - they are already losing sales in the number 1 EV country - Norway.
Not to disrespect your post but you realize the big 3 in America has been close to bankruptcy plenty of times.. most notably in 2008..if the US government wouldn’t have bailed them out, they would have been toast.
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 2 months ago '17        #12
Ifeellikekobe  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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Wow. Its understandable that an electric semi would be difficult. But damn
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 2 months ago '04        #13
nwking  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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I wonder if Elon called in a favor or was this guy done from the start. Someone correct me if am wrong but I thought he even hired some Tesla engineers to work on the project

 2 months ago '04        #14
franchise  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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 Pizzabox said
Not to disrespect your post but you realize the big 3 in America has been close to bankruptcy plenty of times.. most notably in 2008..if the US government wouldn’t have bailed them out, they would have been toast.

Everything was bankrupt in 2008


And bankrupt with small sales vs very large sales is a massive difference - the big 3 going "bankrupt" essentially turns into a restructuring compared to Elon sold his houses to keep his factory open.

 2 months ago '21        #15
Ghostbison10 
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So glad I got out of them months ago, damage was already done tho smh

 2 months ago '13        #16
PCDubya 
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$100 million dollar bond! Damnn.
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 2 months ago '20        #17
gdaze  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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has this happen to anyones Tesla. or just this dude?

 2 months ago '17        #18
Skrr 
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The only time I shorted a company / bought puts. Their website was blatant BS and their supporters were delusional in mid 2020
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 2 months ago '17        #19
Skrr 
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 Pizzabox said
Not to disrespect your post but you realize the big 3 in America has been close to bankruptcy plenty of times.. most notably in 2008..if the US government wouldn’t have bailed them out, they would have been toast.
Big 3 have seen repeated preferential treatment and bailouts from the government. Pretty sure Chrysler got one back in the 80s then tried to act like it's comeback was "self made"

 2 months ago '05        #20
jsilerio  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Autonomous trucks they said


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 2 months ago '12        #21
TheConnect  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x8
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NKLA Puts be PRINTING

iykyk

 2 months ago '16        #22
Vizier  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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So Elizabeth Holmes 2.0...?
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