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Nikola to Pay $125M to Settle SEC Charges

Nikola agreed to pay $125 million to settle civil charges that it misled investors about its technological advancements.
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Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Free Report agreed to pay $125 million to settle civil charges that it misled investors about its technological advancements.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nikola neither admits nor denies the findings of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. 

The Phoenix-based electric-vehicle maker will pay the fine to the SEC in five installments over two years. 

"We are pleased to bring this chapter to a close as the company has now resolved all government investigations," Nikola said in a statement. 

In July 2021, Nikola's founder and former chief executive, Trevor Milton, was charged in federal court in Manhattan with making fraudulent statements about the company's product and technology development between November 2019 and September 2020.

In September 2020, analysts at Hindenburg Research, a noted short-seller, had published a note calling the electric-truck startup "an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies."

Hindenburg had cited data from phone calls, text messages and emails that it said detailed false statements.

Milton had denied the charges. He left the company in September 2020 and was succeeded by former General Motors  (GM) - Get Free Report Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky.

Short sellers bet that a stock's price will drop. They borrow shares and sell them, hoping to buy the shares back at a lower price and return them to the lender, pocketing the difference. 

Nikola shares at last check were trading little changed at $9.24.