New energy vehicle startup Nikola said in a statement this week that it is in talks with the government following an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that could result in a $ 125 million civil fine.
The company was investigated by the SEC following allegations made by Hindenburg Capital that its founder, Trevor Milton, misled investors on almost every aspect of the company. Indeed, the SEC has indicted Milton on three counts of fraud.
For its role in the drama, the company appears poised to pay the government $ 125 million in civil fines if the resolution is passed, depending on the vote of the Securities and Exchange Commission members. According to CNBC, a fine is the best estimate of a fine and the company will aim to pay it within two years.
In addition, Nikola has stated that it intends to seek reimbursement from Milton for costs and damages in connection with government and regulatory investigations. The company did not go into details of what this means, but in 2020 it paid about $ 1.5 million in legal fees to Milton.
With the prospect of an SEC settlement in mind, we look forward to resolving our founder’s outstanding issues and completing this chapter, while maintaining our focus on delivering trucks to our customers and building the energy, service and support infrastructure our customers, said current CEO Mark Russell.