Trevor Milton, the billionaire founder and former chief govt of Nikola Corp has requested a federal decide to dam proof associated to his “wealth, way of life or spending habits” at his trial for fraud prices.
A courtroom submitting from Monday confirmed that Milton’s legal professionals advised U.S. District Choose Edgardo Ramos that particulars of Milton’s wealth have been “unfairly prejudicial” and will mislead the jury.
U.S. prosecutors have criminally charged Milton with defrauding traders by mendacity to them about Nikola, the Phoenix-based electrical truck maker he based in 2014.
Prosecutors say he wrongly claimed that Nikola had constructed an electric- and hydrogen-powered pickup from the “floor up,” developed batteries he knew the corporate was shopping for elsewhere, and that the corporate was making progress on a truck prototype he knew didn’t work.
Milton additionally focused retail traders with a public relations blitz of social media posts in addition to tv and podcast interviews to drive up Nikola’s inventory value, authorities alleged.
His legal professionals on Monday additionally filed to exclude proof of retail traders’ circumstances through the COVID-19 pandemic, saying these circumstances didn’t have an effect on whether or not or not Milton dedicated securities or wire fraud.
Nikola declined to touch upon Milton’s courtroom submitting.
Choose Ramos in November final yr had rejected Milton’s declare that he shouldn’t have been indicted https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/autos-transportation/us-charges-nikola-founder-trevor-milton-with-lying-investors-2021-07-29 in New York for securities and wire fraud as a result of his alleged lies have been in Arizona and Utah, the place he lives, and the case belonged there if in any respect.
The corporate’s share value has fallen greater than 90% from its June 2020 report excessive.
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Vinay Dwivedi)