$1 million fine over hydrogen scam

Trevor Milton of Alpine, Wyoming, was sentenced to four years in prison and $1 million in fines for defrauding investors.

(Victor J. Blue photo/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


A Wyoming man has been sentenced to four years in prison and fined $1 million over a scam of claiming to have developed a “really incredible” hydrogen-powered truck to get people to invest.

A federal judge in New York ordered Trevor Milton, 41, to prison after a jury convicted him of scamming investors who put their money into his Nikola Corporation, an electric and hydrogen powered vehicle startup company.

U.S. Attorney Deputy Damian Williams, in a statement to Cowboy State Daily, said, “Trevor Milton lied to investors again and again–on social media, on television, on podcasts and in print.”

He went on to state that “fake it till you make it” is not an excuse for fraud.

Milton ran his scam for 22 months in 2019 and 2022, tricking investors to buy shares in his Nikola Corporation. The man claimed to have developed a self-driving hydrogen-powered semitruck that was “fully functioning.” He also told investors he had received billions of dollars in orders for the truck as well as an electric and hydrogen powered pickup truck called “the Badger.”

As for the self-driving truck, investigators found that Milton posted a Twitter video showing the truck “on its own”. In reality, he towed the Nikola One truck to the top of a hill, released the brakes and videoed it as it rolled down the hill.

Source: Cowboy State Daily