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Nikola is to pay $ 125 million in fines in the SEC settlement



(Reuters) – Nikola Corp. said on Thursday that they were working with U.S. regulators to pay a $ 125 million penalty to settle a lawsuit against its founders, as the electric car maker is working to increase production.

United States. The Securities and Exchange Commission had accused Trevor Milton of using social media to repeatedly mislead investors about the company's technology and capabilities, and reaped "tens of millions of dollars" as a result of his misconduct.

Shares in Nikola, which also reported third-quarter financial results, rose 13% to $ 14.38 in early trading.

The company said the deal, which had not yet been approved by a vote of SEC commissioners, would be paid over two years.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based startup added that it intends to request compensation from Mr. Milton for costs and damages in connection with these investigations.

A spokesman for Mr. Milton was not immediately available for comment.

Mr. Milton had resigned as Nikola's CEO in September last year, two weeks after card salesman Hindenburg Research branded the company a "fraud" and said it made many misleading statements about its technology.

He was then also accused of deceiving investors. by lying to them about the company's products and technology.

As the company worked to complete this chapter, Nikola said they had begun building pre-series trucks at their facility in Coolidge, Arizona and still look to deliver up to 25 trucks to dealers. and customers by December 2021

.

In September, Nikola had signed an agreement with the German Bosch Group to build Bosch fuel cell power modules at its Coolidge plant for two of its trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The company also said it had built seven hydrogen fuel cell cars that are being tested in Germany and the United States and will go on to road emissions by the end of 2021.

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