Nikola’s founder, Trevor Milton, will leave the federal court in New York on Thursday. (AP)
Nikola Corp. The founder of Trevor Milton is under federal control on Thursday. Indicted by misleading investor About the state of the company he left in September.
“Trever Milton is innocent,” his lawyer said in a statement. “This is a new low in government effort to criminalize legitimate business practices. All American executives should be scared.”
This is an excerpt from a 66-page complaint and criminal accusation against him by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Milton said he was “focused” on the company’s stock price and sent a text message calling on senior executives to “do something” on the day the stock fell. He also “tracked the daily number of new Robin Hood users holding Nikola shares.”
Prior to notifying the company, Milton used the presence of social media and interview appearances to announce new initiatives and changes, the SEC said.
“On June 25, 2020, Milton sent a series of tweets from his personal account, claiming that Nicola would provide a drinking fountain for badgers (“truck). This information was a complete surprise to Nicola’s designers, engineers, and marketers.When informed of the tweet, one engineer said, “This is [is] “It’s a joke,” the marketer wrote, “I’m absent-minded,” and the designer sent a text message, “Hmm, what.”
According to the SEC, Nicola executives have repeatedly sought to curb Milton’s social media. At some point, the president asked Milton to have the company’s chief legal officer pre-screen his tweets. Tesla Commanded to do Elon Musk After the SEC sued him in his tweet.
“Nikola’s senior executives tried other tactics in the spring and summer of 2020 to curb the presence of Milton’s social media, but it didn’t help.”
They planned media training for company executives, but Milton didn’t attend. Instead, Milton’s reaction said, “These senior managers do not understand what they are trying to achieve with current capital market dynamics and retail investors, and Nicola to support Nicola’s stock price. Was to insist that you need to participate in social media to get good news about. Price. “
At a press conference on Thursday, SEC Chief Operating Officer Gurbir Grewal emphasized the executive officer’s obligation to provide complete and accurate information about the company.
“There is no end or exception to this obligation,” Grewal said. “Corporate executives cannot say what they like on social media in violation of federal securities law.”
“Milton was personally involved in soliciting reservations from some potential customers,” the SEC said. “He told potential customers that reservations could be canceled at any time for any reason. For example, on May 9, 2016, to secure the largest reservation Nicola has ever received. As part of its efforts, Milton wrote to potential customers.[y]You can cancel at any time before the option. colour And a large deposit is made. .. … “
“Milton also cited the non-binding nature of bookings to convince potential customers to double the volume of bookings.”
“Milton wrote a letter to this party.”[y]ou requested 50 trucks for $ 500 per deposit. What I did is put you down for 100 for $ 250 as it will always be fully refunded. You can cancel at any time. “
When Milton advertised badger pickups as “built,” “completed,” “real,” and “a vehicle that works perfectly inside and outside,” Nicola’s vice president of technology called the badger “vaporware.” I called. According to the SEC, “there is no technical plan.”
According to the SEC, Nicola engineers said in December 2016 that the truck they were working on was “not even ready to operate remotely.” One of the reasons is: “All electrical components were powered via cords from an external source rather than the truck’s power source. battery.. “
In the criminal accusation, the prosecutor, contrary to Milton’s allegations, said: 1, 2016. In fact, the Nikola One prototype had not been completed, tested and validated by the time of the announcement event. “
For example, “The prototype was completely missing important parts such as gears and motors, and the control system (that is, the system that tells the vehicle the driver’s direction) was incomplete. The infotainment system in the cab was also incomplete. It was complete. Instead, for unveiling purposes, a tablet computer or other computer screen was attached to the area where the infotainment screen was, and the screen gave the appearance of the infotainment screen with a speedometer, map. It was set to display images created to have, and other information is displayed. “
“Furthermore, the truck towing On stage the night before the event, the screens and lights were powered by an external battery and power strip running from under the truck to the wall. As the stage rotated, it had to be manually disconnected. “
“Similarly, the airline had to be connected to the vehicle to maintain the truck’s air suspension and air. break I’m working because there was a slow leak in the truck’s air supply. Nikola personnel used the remote control to control the headlines of the truck at the event. “
Nugget from Nicola founder prosecution
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