Nikola in settlement agreement with SEC

By Mike Brezonick21 December 2021

Nikola Two FCEV Nikola said it is continuing to test its fuel cell electric truck in Arizona and at a joint venture facility in Germany.

Nikola Corp., a manufacturer of zero-emissions battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen station infrastructure, announced a resolution with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency found that the e-truck startup and its founder, Trevor Milton, of violating antifraud and disclosure control provisions of federal securities laws.

Trevor Milton Trevor Milton, Nikola's founder and former CEO, is still facing federal charges that he defrauded investors by lying about the company's products and progress.

As part of the resolution, Nikola has agreed to pay $125 million to the SEC in five installments over two years. The first installment will be paid by the end of 2021, and the remaining installments will be paid semiannually through 2023. The company previously disclosed on Nov. 4 that it had taken a $125 million reserve in its third quarter earnings to account for the expected settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, Nikola neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings.

“We are pleased to bring this chapter to a close as the company has now resolved all government investigations,” the company said in a statement announcing the settlement agreement. “We will continue to execute on our strategy and vision to deliver on our business plan, including delivering trucks to customers, expanding our manufacturing facilities and our sales and service network, and building out our hydrogen infrastructure ecosystem including hydrogen production, distribution and dispensing stations.”

The company said it has taken action to seek reimbursement from Milton, who still faces federal charges for securities and wire fraud, for costs and damages in connection with the government and regulatory investigations.

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