DOJ looking into Nikola over claims it deceived investors

  • DOJ looking into Nikola over claims it deceived investors

DOJ looking into Nikola over claims it deceived investors

Bloomberg News, meanwhile, reported late on Monday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was probing Nikola to assess the merits of Hindenburg's claims that it had misled investors about its business prospects.

In a September 10 report, Hindenburg Research called Nikola an "intricate fraud" that, among other allegations, overstated the capabilities of its earliest test trucks.

Nikola has pushed back, accusing the short seller of making misleading statements that were created to manipulate its shares. The regulator's review is preliminary and may not lead to allegations of wrongdoing.

Nikola has encouraged the SEC to get involved.

Nikola has rejected the accusations and threatened to take legal action against Hindenburg since its research into the company sparked the first of a series of falls in the company's shares last week.

The SEC did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Hindenburg had shorted the stock last week and said it had gathered enough evidence to show Nikola founder Trevor Milton made false statements about possessing proprietary technology to form partnerships with large automakers. In Nikola's response to "set the record straight," it claims that elements of its Nikola One proof of concept were functional, including the batteries, gearbox and inverters, but admits it never did the work to make that model capable of driving under its own propulsion.

"Nikola believes that the Hindenburg report, and the opportunistic timing of its publication shortly after announcement of Nikola's partnership with General Motors Co. and the resulting positive share price reaction, was created to provide a false impression to investors and to negatively manipulate the market in order to financially benefit short sellers, including Hindenburg itself", Nikola said in its rebuttal issued Monday.