The securities fraud trial of Nicola’s founder is set to begin this week.

Nikola Corp. founder Trevor Milton, who lured auto industry leaders and investors with promises of a revolution in electric cars, was indicted this week on securities fraud charges that his company lied about developing environmentally friendly technology.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last year charged Milton with lying about Nicola’s NKLL to enrich himself and boost his business.
Fraud of professional and non-professional investors, including stock market novices. He was charged with wire fraud and two counts of securities fraud. Jury selection begins Monday.

Announcing the indictment, then-US Attorney Audrey Strauss said, “Milton lied in nearly every aspect of his business to advance the interests of investors in Nicola’s stock.”

Milton, 40, has pleaded not guilty. In the year He resigned from Nicola in 2020, days after short-seller Hindenburg Research released a report detailing dozens of misrepresentations Milton had made about the business, including rolling a driverless car down a hill to appear operational in a marketing video.

At a pretrial hearing last week, Milton’s attorneys said they would argue that their client acted in good faith and did not intend to deceive anyone. Milton may have used certain words like “prototype,” “practical” and “show car” in a different way than some investors understood, said defense attorney Mark Mucasey. “There is a linguistic aspect to this,” Mukasey.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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