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US prosecutors on Wednesday added a brand new wire-fraud cost to their case accusing Trevor Milton, the founder and former chief govt of Nikola, of defrauding investors by mendacity in regards to the electric- and hydrogen-powered truck maker.
The brand new cost issues Milton’s alleged scheme from April 2020 to March 2021 to defraud the sellers of a property often known as Wasatch Creeks Ranch by making false and deceptive statements about Nikola’s product, know-how and enterprise growth.
Milton beforehand pleaded not responsible to 2 counts of securities fraud and one rely of wire fraud. His trial is scheduled for July 18 in federal courtroom in Manhattan.
Legal professionals for Milton didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. The workplace of US Legal professional Damian Williams in Manhattan didn’t instantly reply to an analogous request.
Milton’s felony case is among the many most outstanding involving an organization that went public after merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Critics say that course of is vulnerable to conflicts of curiosity and shoddy due diligence.
Nikola went public in June 2020. Authorities stated Milton misled traders in regards to the firm in social media posts, TV appearances and podcast interviews designed to drive up its inventory worth and bolster his stature as an entrepreneur.