Indicted Billionaire Trevor Milton Has Sold Nearly $300 Million Worth Of Nikola Stock Since Criminal Fraud Charges

Topline

Trevor Milton, the embattled extinct chairman of Nikola Motor, has offloaded a big stake of the electrical truck maker he basically based with regards to seven years ago in fresh months, selling $131 million in inventory all the plan throughout the final week and with regards to $300 million price since he pleaded no longer guilty to a couple counts of criminal fraud prices this summer.

Trevor Milton, founder and extinct CEO of Nikola Motor Co., pled no longer guilty to the prices, which … [+] vow he lied to customers about “with regards to every aspect of his enterprise.”


Tim Pannell/The Forbes Series

Key Details

In a regulatory submitting launched Tuesday night, Milton, 40, disclosed he sold about 11.7 million shares in various transactions between Friday and Tuesday, nabbing with regards to $131 million in pretax proceeds. 

The sales this month practice a string of transactions in August, when Milton sold about 16.8 million shares for $153.3 million, earlier than taxes—accurate days after he used to be charged with three counts of criminal fraud for allegedly deceiving Nikola customers.

Milton pled no longer guilty to the prices in a Contemporary york court docket on July 29 and used to be freed on $100 million bail, which used to be reportedly secured by two properties Milton owns in his dwelling assert of Utah which would be price a combined $40 million.

Even after accounting for taxes on the transactions, Forbes still estimates Milton is price about $1 billion, nonetheless that’s a some distance bawl from the roughly $8.7 billion he used to be price in June 2020, when Nikola inventory peaked at a closing impress of $65.90—with regards to seven times their current price of $10.72.

Shares of Nikola ticked up 3% Wednesday morning nonetheless are still down 33% this yr and about 20% since the prices leveled in leisurely July. 

Representatives for Milton and Nikola didn’t straight respond to Forbes‘ requests for comment.

Ravishing Fact

In an indictment unsealed in July, the U.S. attorney’s space of job in Contemporary york charged Milton with two counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud, alleging the extinct Nikola CEO made misguided and groundless statements concerning the corporate between November 2019 and September 2020 to defraud customers into shopping for shares. “In explain to pressure investor quiz for Nikola inventory, Milton lied about with regards to every aspect of his enterprise,” Contemporary york U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss acknowledged on the time.

Key Background

Nikola’s inventory impress skyrocketed after it debuted on the Nasdaq final June, nonetheless it definitely has traded sharply lower since short-seller Hindenburg, which says it holds no region in the firm, published a file final September calling the electrical automobile company an “intricate fraud” and alleging then-chairman Milton misled customers concerning the corporate’s enterprise. The Justice Department and SEC started their investigations into the firm accurate days later. Milton has since resigned, legacy carmaker GM pulled out of a big partnership with the firm leisurely final yr and Nikola shares hold plunged 83% from an all-time excessive. Earlier this month, Nikola, which used to be no longer accused of wrongdoing as phase of Milton’s criminal prices, acknowledged it has a tentative agreement to rating to the backside of its SEC probe by paying a swish of $125 million.

Mountainous Quantity

27 million. That’s how many Nikola shares Milton has dumped since August. Then again, irrespective of the hefty transactions, he still owns bigger than 50 million shares—representing a roughly 12% stake in the firm.

Extra Discovering out

Nikola Has Tentative Deal To Prefer SEC Probe With $125 Million Ravishing (Forbes)

Billionaire Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Pleads No longer Guilty To Prison Fraud Charges, Freed On $100 Million Bail (Forbes)

Indicted Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Has Misplaced Over $7 Billion As Shares Like Cratered (Forbes)

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