Trevor Milton, the founder of Nikola Corp. and onetime govt chairman of the electric-truck startup, was indicted Thursday on securities-fraud costs for allegedly lying to buyers about its business making industrial trucks run by option fuel.
Mr. Milton, who resigned from the business past September, faces two counts of securities fraud and one particular rely of wire fraud, in accordance to an indictment manufactured public Thursday. The 39-yr-outdated faces a optimum 25-12 months prison term if convicted of the major securities-fraud demand.
“In purchase to travel investor demand from customers for Nikola inventory, Milton lied about approximately each individual element of his business enterprise,” Manhattan U.S. Legal professional Audrey Strauss stated at a information conference Thursday.
The Securities and Trade Commission also submitted a civil criticism Thursday in opposition to Mr. Milton.
Mr. Milton pleaded not guilty to the prices in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday and was released on $100 million bond. A spokesman for his lawyers—Brad Bondi, Marc Mukasey and Terence Healy—said Mr. Milton was innocent. “Mr. Milton has been wrongfully accused next a faulty and incomplete investigation in which the governing administration ignored crucial proof and unsuccessful to job interview important witnesses,” the spokesman said.