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June 21 (Reuters) – Trevor Milton, the billionaire founder and previous chief govt of Nikola Corp (NKLA.O) has requested a federal choose to block proof connected to his “wealth, life style or spending behaviors” at his trial for fraud prices.
A court filing from Monday confirmed that Milton’s attorneys instructed U.S. District Choose Edgardo Ramos that specifics of Milton’s wealth were being “unfairly prejudicial” and could mislead the jury.
U.S. prosecutors have criminally billed Milton with defrauding buyers by lying to them about Nikola, the Phoenix-centered electric powered truck maker he founded in 2014.
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Prosecutors say he wrongly claimed that Nikola had developed an electric- and hydrogen-powered pickup from the “ground up”, produced batteries he realized the corporation was obtaining elsewhere, and that the firm was generating development on a truck prototype he understood did not operate.
Milton also focused retail traders with a general public relations blitz of social media posts as nicely as tv and podcast interviews to drive up Nikola’s inventory cost, authorities alleged.
His legal professionals on Monday also filed to exclude evidence of retail investors’ conditions in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating those people situation did not have an effect on irrespective of whether or not Milton dedicated securities or wire fraud.
Nikola declined to remark on Milton’s courtroom submitting.
Judge Ramos in November previous 12 months had rejected Milton’s assert that he ought to not have been indicted in New York for securities and wire fraud simply because his alleged lies have been in Arizona and Utah, where by he lives, and the circumstance belonged there if at all. read through additional
The company’s share price has fallen more than 90% from its June 2020 report substantial.
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Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru
Modifying by Vinay Dwivedi
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