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Nikola Founder Charged with 3 Counts of Fraud

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August 2, 2021—A federal grand jury charged Trevor Milton, founder of the EV startup Nikola, on three counts of fraud for lying to investors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office accused Milton of securities fraud, including making false statements about the company, and wire fraud, according to a report from CNBC. Prosecutors say Milton "built an intricate scheme designed to pump up the company's stock" for his own personal gain by lying about sales projections as well as company tech and products.

“This is a very straightforward case," U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said during a Thursday press conference. "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."

Milton pled not guilty to all three counts and was freed on a $100 million bond.

Image: Isaac Sloan/Nikola Motor

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