Today: Jul 20, 2024

Nikola’s Trevor Milton: 4 Years Behind Bars for Deceiving Investors

7 months ago

Founder of hydrogen-electric truck startup Nikola, Trevor Milton, has been sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding investors by lying about various aspects of his business. Milton was found guilty last year of making false claims about Nikola’s business by a federal grand jury. The investigation found that Milton’s semi-truck prototype was inoperable and that the company was not producing hydrogen fuel, despite telling investors otherwise. Milton will also pay a $1 million fine and forfeit a property in Utah. This sentence comes after Milton was forced to return $165 million to his former company in October. Nikola was founded by Milton in 2014 and began producing hydrogen-fueled semi-truck gliders. The company’s first vehicle, the Nikola One, was unveiled in 2016 but was found to be missing major parts. Milton continued to take orders for the unfinished truck, including a major order of 800 trucks from beverage giant Anheuser-Busch. Milton used social media and media interviews to mislead investors and inflate the company’s worth. Despite the fraudulent activity, Milton was added to the Forbes Billionaires list after Nikola went public in 2020.