Nikola Corp., which is not Tesla but which would no doubt like to be, says the allegations leveled against it by short-seller Hindenburg Research are false. That there is nothing behind words like “ocean of lies,” “intricate fraud” and “total farce.” Still, it all seemed like enough to have founder Trevor Milton resign from the company, and for General Motors to have at least a hint of a second thought about its planned partnership with the company, and so the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice thought they’d have a little look, you know, just to be sure that the words “false and misleading” are not a few more drops in the aforementioned body of untruths.
Nikola Motor Company, a manufacturer of electric and fuel cell trucks, announced in a regulatory filing Monday that it has received subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice in connection to fraud allegations leveled at the company by a short-seller.
Nikola's founder, Trevor Milton, who resigned from the company in September amid the fraud allegations, also received grand jury subpoenas from the Department of Justice…. Nikola said in the filing that it cooperated and will continue to cooperate with any regulatory or government requests.
Relatedly, if anyone’s got some extremely expensive and outlandish request to make of Elon Musk, now’s the time to do it.
Several executives have told me that employees at all of his companies check Musk’s Twitter account first thing in the morning to see what disaster happened the night before—and to decipher if it will lead to a new lawsuit, affect Tesla’s stock price, or add to growing public resentment toward their CEO. “We all wake up and look at it every day, thinking, Oh, God, now what? You really had no idea what you were going to see,” one former employee said. At SpaceX and Tesla, another Tesla executive told me, employees from both companies keep one another abreast of Musk’s moods so that they’ll know if Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde is coming into the office that day. “On [SpaceX] launch days, you have everyone at Tesla tuned in to see if the launch is successful, not because we are vested in the rockets, but because it directly impacts Elon’s mood for the next few days,” the Tesla executive told me. “If there was a failure on a launch, there’d be hell to pay; you didn’t want to have a phone call set up with Elon afterward.” On the other hand, if the rocket launch was successful, Musk’s inbox would fill with budget requests. The same is true for SpaceX employees when new production numbers are set to be released for Tesla.
Nikola Motor reveals it received subpoenas from DOJ, SEC [CNN Business]
Elon Musk’s Totally Awful, Batshit-Crazy, Completely Bonkers, Most Excellent Year [Vanity Fair]
Nikola Aims To Close GM Deal But Has Backup Battery, Fuel Cell Suppliers [Forbes]