The Rise and Fall of Nikola CEO Trevor Milton

Trevor Milton, born on April 6, 1982, is a controversial figure in the business world. He was the founder, former chairman, and CEO of Nikola Corporation, a company focused on producing zero-emission trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells. However, he was forced to step down from his position amidst allegations of fraud and misleading investors.

The Early Years

Trevor Milton grew up in Utah and was interested in cars from an early age. He founded his first business, St. George Watercraft when he was just 18 years old. The company specializes in the design and manufacture of wakeboard boats. He later founded dHybrid Systems, a natural gas storage technology company.

The Founding of Nikola

In 2015, Trevor Milton founded Nikola Corporation, named after the inventor Nikola Tesla. The company’s main goal was to produce zero-emission trucks and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation industry.

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Milton’s vision was to create a company that would revolutionize the transportation industry. The company’s initial public offering (IPO) in June 2020 was hugely successful, and the stock price soared. At one point, Nikola’s market capitalization surpassed that of Ford and General Motors.

The Allegations

However, things worsened when Hindenburg Research released a report accusing Nikola and Trevor Milton of fraud. The report claimed that the company had falsely claimed its technology and capabilities.

Following the report’s release, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched an investigation into the allegations. Trevor Milton stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Mark Russell in September 2020. In the aftermath of the scandal, Nikola’s stock price plummeted, and the company’s reputation was severely damaged.

Milton’s Departure from Nikola

As part of his departure from Nikola, Trevor Milton agreed to forfeit up to roughly $166 million of equity and a two-year, $20 million consulting contract. Despite the allegations against him, he remained a billionaire, with his net worth estimated at around $3.1 billion.

Where is Trevor Milton now?

Milton was indicted in July 2021 for allegedly lying to investors about the electric and hydrogen fuel cell company’s technology and products. The trial happened in September and October 2022, and Milton was found guilty on three counts. It is unclear where Milton is currently located, but one thing is for sure: he will likely be sent to prison for a very long time!

Sentencing was scheduled for January, but has now been delayed until June. Milton faces up to 25 years in prison.

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