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Nikola will pay $125 million to settle SEC fraud charges

Electric vehicle company Nikola will offer $125 million to settle civil freights from the Security and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors. The busines was accused of misinforming investors about its in-house production capabilities, technological advancements, reservations and orderings, hydrogen make and more.

The SEC accused benefactor and former CEO Trevor Milton of undertaking “a public relations campaign aimed at inflating and maintaining Nikola’s stock price” through tweets and media expressions before the company had made a commercial-grade commodity. It said that the company too misinformed investors by “misrepresenting or omitting textile facts” about the hydrogen depot at its headquarters, how long it would take to refuel its concept vehicles, the source and cost of power for proposed hydrogen product and the risks and benefits of a mooted partnership with a major automaker.

“As the dictate determines, Nikola Corporation is responsible both for Milton’s supposedly misleading statements and for other alleged ruses, all of which falsely portrayed the true state of the company’s business and technology, ” SEC enforcement director Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement.

Although Nikola did not admit to or disclaim the SEC’s bills of protections regulation contraventions, it agreed to some voluntary projects, to pay the penalty and to cease and desist from “future violations of the charged provisions.” It will cooperate with ongoing prosecution and investigation too.

“We are pleased to bring this chapter to a close as the company has now resolved all authority investigations, ” Nikola said in the following statement. “We will continue to execute on our approach and vision to deliver on our business intention, including deliver trucks to customers, expanding our manufacturing facilities and our auctions and service system, and building out our hydrogen infrastructure ecosystem including hydrogen make, rationing and exempting stations.” The fellowship also said it was seeking reimbursement from Milton “for costs and expenses in connection with the government and regulatory investigations.”

Nikola became a publicly traded company in June 2020 through a special purpose acquisition company( SPAC) bargain, which enables companies to bypass the usual process of going public. That September, reports hinted the SEC was looking into Nikola’s claims about its electric trucks. Milton, who had stepped down as CEO just before the company extended public, resigned as ministerial chairperson a few eras after information emerged about the probe.

A grand jury indicted Milton on impostor accusations in July 2021. He was accused of lying to investors about “nearly all aspects of the business” to increase Nikola’s share premium. He revoked the charges and is free on bail pending a trial that’s scheduled for April.

Meanwhile, Nikola delivered its first electric trucks to purchasers last week.

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