Trevor Milton’s Nikola ‘is an intricate fraud’ claims Hindenburg Research
Trevor Milton’s Nikola is in hot waters after an analysis firm Hindenburg Research in its latest report said “Nikola is an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies over the course of its Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton’s career.”
The research firm which has a short position in Nikola stock said that it had “gathered extensive evidence – including recorded phone calls, text messages, private emails, and behind-the-scenes photographs-detailing dozens of false statements by Nikola Founder Trevor Milton.”
“We have never seen this level of deception at a public company, especially of this size,” Hindenburg said.
The Hindenburg report comes two days after General Motors announced a $2 billion partnership with Nikola, which lead Nikola shares up nearly 50 percent.
The report alleged that Nikola staged a 2018 video called “Nikola One in Motion” of its signature hydrogen fuel-cell truck driving, and that the company has made deceptive claims about its battery development efforts after an acquisition failure.
“We reveal how, in the face of growing skepticism over the functionality of its truck, Nikola staged a video called ‘Nikola One in Motion’ which showed the semi-truck cruising on a road at a high rate of speed. Our investigation of the site and text messages from a former employee reveal that the video was an elaborate ruse—Nikola had the truck towed to the top of a hill on a remote stretch of road and simply filmed it rolling down the hill,” said the report.
About the failed acquisition deal in 2019, the firm claimed that the “deal fell through when Nikola realized (a) the technology was vaporware and (b) the President of the battery company had been indicted months earlier over allegations that he conned NASA by using his expense account to procure numerous prostitutes.”
Another major allegation leveled in the Hindenburg report is the claim that Milton’s statements during a July 2020 podcast directly indicate that the Nikola Tre was rolling off of production lines at a company facility in Europe.
“We have five of them coming off the assembly line right now in Ulm Germany,” Milton stated during the podcast. However, a spokesperson for Bosch, the manufacturing partner building the trucks, confirmed this month that they haven’t made any trucks yet, said Hindenburg.
In response to the report, Milton in a tweet post said that it would take him “a few hours to put together responses to their [Hindenburg’s] lies.”