Nikola founder Trevor Milton sentenced to 4 years in prison for fraud

A jury found Milton guilty of securities and wire fraud in October 2022
Trevor Milton
Posted at 8:56 AM, Dec 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-20 10:56:24-05

PHOENIX — Nikola Corp. founder and former executive chairman Trevor Milton was sentenced to four years in federal prison Monday for defrauding investors about the Phoenix-based company’s electric vehicle technology.

In addition to the four-year prison sentence, Milton, 41, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to forfeit a property in Utah and pay a $1 million fine with restitution to be set at a later date, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

“Trevor Milton lied to investors again and again — on social media, on television, on podcasts, and in print,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “But today’s sentence should be a warning to start-up founders and corporate executives everywhere — ‘fake it till you make it’ is not an excuse for fraud, and if you mislead your investors, you will pay a stiff price.”

A jury found Milton guilty of securities and wire fraud in October 2022, based on allegations that he lied about the electric vehicle company’s technology and capabilities to inflate its stock price.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.