Nikola Motors Founder Trevor Milton Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For SecuritIes Fraud

nikola motors milton
(Nikola Motors)
nikola motors milton
Trevor Milton founded Nikola Motors to build hydrogen-powered trucks. (Nikola Motors)

Nikola Motors founder Trevor Milton, who was convicted of securities and wire fraud in Oct. 2022 has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Milton was accused of exaggerating claims about the company’s hydrogen-powered commercial trucks, which mislead investors who suffered big losses as the value of the company collapsed.

Judge Edgardo Ramos said the jury “got it right” in convicting him as he read the sentence, which included at $1 million fine, the Associated Press reported.

“Over the course of many months, you used your considerable social media skills to tout your company in ways that were materially false,” the judge said.

“What you said over and over on different media outlets was wrong.”


Milton was a regular on TV news networks talking about his company and electric vehicles in general as he made himself available in a vacuum created by Elon Musk’s standoffish relationship with the press.

Milton’s questionable claims about the company were brought into the spotlight by a scathing report from Hindenburg Research.

(Nikola Motors)

The report was released just days after General Motors had announced it had received an 11% stake in the company worth $2 billion at the time in exchange for developing the Nikola Badger consumer pickup with GM’s Ultium and Hydrotech fuel cell electric vehicle technologies.

Milton stepped down as SEO less than two weeks later in the wake of the accusations and GM backed out of the deal entirely in November.

“I obviously feel awful for all the resources and time this has caused everybody. I don’t think you can feel human without feeling terrible for everyone involved,” Milton said at the sentencing hearing.

“My intent was not to harm others.”

Milton faces several personal lawsuits and an ongoing investigation by the Securites and Exchange Commission.

Nikola Motors remains in business, but has abandoned the Badger entirely.