Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola Motors, has been sentenced to four years in prison for fraud and defrauding investors. His company has been billed as “the new Tesla.” Nikola was valued at nearly $30 billion in 2020, shortly after its initial public offering on the Nasdaq. But the promising story turned out to be built on lies.
Milton was already convicted last year of misleading his investors. The public prosecutor had requested an eleven-year prison sentence, but the former CEO has now escaped a four-year prison sentence.
According to prosecutors, Trevor Milton deceived investors by claiming that he had developed an electric pickup truck himself, while knowing full well that various parts had been purchased. Nikola also suggested that the company’s electric truck could drive autonomously, when this was not the case.
According to the prosecutor, it was necessary to clearly state “that as an entrepreneur, as a founder of a startup, as a CEO of a company, you must be honest when you talk about your company.” Melton’s lawyers argued that Melton’s lies were rooted in his “deep optimism.” “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone,” Trevor Melton said.
Tesla and Elon Musk
Nikola and its founder modeled their model on the success of Tesla and Elon Musk. Like Tesla, the company is named after Nikola Tesla, known as the inventor of the alternating current generator. As with Tesla, Nikola is developing electric and hydrogen-powered trucks and vans. Trevor Milton, who left the company as CEO in 2021, has also used social media extensively, just like Elon Musk.
look. After its initial public offering on the Nasdaq in 2020, Nikola’s value doubled in one week.
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