Former Nikola Motor frontman and founder Trevor Milton is calling upon the attorneys who assisted Tesla CEO Elon Musk in his 2018 settlement with the SEC. Milton is currently indicted for three counts of fraud, charges brought upon him within the last few weeks for allegedly falsifying some claims about Nikola’s business and products. Among the legal team representing Milton is also Marc Mukasey, who is part of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s legal team as an advisor.
Milton’s legal team will be comprised of Terence Healy and Brad Bondi, two Musk attorneys that have represented the Tesla CEO and advised the company on several occasions. The most notable case that Musk was represented in was the 2018 settlement with the SEC when the agency was displeased with a Tweet that hinted toward the electric automaker going private. Musk was required to step down as Chairman of Tesla’s board and was advised to have each of his Tweets approved before sending.
Marc Mukasey is also joining Milton’s legal team. Mukasey is an advisor in the legal team for former President Donald Trump’s company. That case was brought upon by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who is scrutinizing Trump’s business practices prior to his presidential campaign. The case aims to see “whether the value of specific properties in the Trump Organization’s real estate portfolio were manipulated in a way that defrauded banks and insurance companies, and if any tax benefits were obtained illegally through unscrupulous asset valuation,” according to the Washington Post.
BusinessWire originally showed Milton’s legal team.
The case with Milton is much more serious than Musk’s Twitter fiasco from three years ago. Milton is facing possible jail time and was freed from a Manhattan jail cell after posting $100 million bond leveraged against two of his properties. Accused of two counts of wire fraud and one count of stock fraud, Milton voluntarily stepped down as Nikola’s CEO in September 2020 after a scathing report from Hindenburg Research revealed that several of the former CEO’s claims regarding the company’s development of its Nikola One semi-truck were not accurate. After the report, Nikola admitted during its Q1 2021 Earnings Call that Milton had exaggerated some of his claims.
Milton’s lawyers told Teslarati in a statement that their client was innocent. “Every executive in America should be horrified,” his attorneys said. “Trevor Milton is an entrepreneur who had a long-term vision of helping the environment by cutting carbon emissions in the trucking industry.”
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.