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Founder Nicola Trevor Melton convicted of fraud to mislead investors

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Nikola Corporation. Company founder Trevor Melton was convicted of fraud for misleading investors in the electric truck company, the stunning collapse of a door-to-door salesman-turned-billionaire who promised to revolutionize the auto industry.

Milton, 40, was indicted Friday on two counts of securities fraud and two counts of electronic fraud by a federal jury in Manhattan, in a U.S. push. Department of JusticeEfforts to suppress corporate crime. He faces the prospect of years in prison.

It was a road trip for the charismatic entrepreneur, whose fortune has tumbled into the hundreds of millions since Nikola’s stock increase when the company listed its shares in June 2020. Milton, who remains the company’s largest single shareholder, founded Nikola in 2014 and built it into a company worth 34 billion. dollars when it went public, more than Ford Motor company at one point.

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The start-up, which had no income at the time, came amid a wave of electric car companies going public through Special Purpose Acquisitions, or SPACs, that began two years ago as investors scoured the scene for the next stage. Tesla. Going the SPAC route allowed them to market their companies based on future performance expectations rather than actual financial results. Some of the biggest names on Wall Street have poured money into the sector.

Celebrity endorsements

After Nikola’s inclusion, mainstream investors started noticing Milton’s vision as well, with the company being discussed as often online as was the case with Elon Musk. While Nikola’s initial focus was on heavy commercial trucks, she branched out to run sports and consumer electric vehicles. It was all bolstered by celebrity endorsements like the Diesel Brothers’ Heavy D, who promoted the Badger Pickup, a product that never made it past the rendering stage.

Prosecutors argued that Milton lured retail investors to buy Nikola’s stock by making false statements about the company’s products and capabilities in numerous interviews on podcasts and television, exaggerating Nikola’s ability to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell trucks as well as its ability to produce fuel. Itself.

Assistant US Attorney Jordan Estes told the jury in her closing arguments Thursday that it was “a lie after a lie.” “Maybe it was his lies on social media, but make no mistake: This was an old scam.”

Milton’s lawyers described the case as a “litigation by distortion,” claiming that their client never intended to deceive potential investors and that, in any event, his statements were not material or significant enough to influence those investors’ decisions.

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Milton was generally upbeat when he arrived at court in a suit and tie to sit down with his attorney. Sometimes there were dozens of people in the courtroom, as his family and friends crowded the first two rows behind the defense table.

Concluding his speech, which made Milton’s wife, the defense attorney, cry Mark Mukasey Jurors were asked to “imagine the nightmare that Trevor, 40, is having his life hanging on the scales” due to an overzealous prosecution.

There were lighter moments, too. In a tense vigil during Friday’s jury deliberations, Mukasey did some practice on a golf swing with a mock club.

During the trial, which began with opening statements on September 13, the government called dozens of witnesses. I started with Paul LuckyA former contractor with Nikola, the allegations of fraud helped spur the criminal investigation.

Lucky, an engineer at electric propulsion systems company EVDrive, said he gave Nate Anderson Hindenburg Research Information in exchange for a share of its profits from the short sale of the company. September 2020 short seller Report Calling Nikola a “complex fraud,” among other allegations, he exaggerated the capabilities of his first test trucks. Nikola shares plummeted.

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The government summoned the other insiders of Nikola to the witness stand. between them:

  • Brendan Papyersthe former designer of Nikola who said a prototype of the Badger pickup truck planned to start the electric vehicle was made in part from components from the Ford F-150 Raptor.
  • CEO Mark Russell, who said he only learned after joining the company that his first electric truck had neither a natural gas turbine nor a fuel cell when Milton revealed it
  • Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady, who said Milton was “so focused” on the company’s stock price that when the shares fell $5 on the first day of trading, he thought There was something wrong with the NASDAQ

The defense called Harvard Law School professor Ellen FerrellAn expert on economics and the stock market, he told the jury that traders mostly ignored statements made by Milton between the time his company went public and the time he resigned.

The case is United States v. Melton, 21-cr-478, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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How to watch FIFA World Cup Round of 16 matches in Qatar broadcast live online for free without cable: Fox, FS1, Telemundo

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The United States pulled off a thrilling victory over Iran on Tuesday, but that was just the beginning of the long road to the FIFA Championship. The last 16, also known as the knockout round, kicks off on Saturday. One loss will send packing teams off.

There are no links. There is no second chance. The competition is much tougher than the group stage.

Sports stars are still in contention. Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, went through the knockout round, as did Argentina, led by Lionel Messi.

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The stakes — and the drama — are high. And while most fans will be heading home (or at a favorite watering hole) over the weekend, don’t be surprised if some escape in the early part of next week. If you’re hoping to catch the action, here’s what you need to know.

When will the United States face the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup?

The United States and the Netherlands will start the Round of 16 on the morning of Saturday, December 3 at 10:00 AM ET. The games will run through December 6.

Where can I watch the USA-Netherlands match in the 2022 World Cup?

Fox This showdown will be carried on the main channel over the air to ensure the widest audience. The game will also be broadcast on Peacock.

Who would prefer to win the USA-Netherlands match in the 2022 World Cup?

It does not look good for the United States. The Netherlands are heavily favored to win, with a probability of 49%. The probability of winning the USA is only 23%. (It’s basically the opposite of the odds from the US/Iran game.)

The chance of a tie is 28%.

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What is the schedule for the round of sixteen matches in the 2022 World Cup?

Saturday 3rd December

Netherlands versus the United States10:00 a.m. ET on Fox and Peacock

Argentina vs Australia2:00 p.m. on FS1 and Peacock

Sunday, December 4th

France versus Poland10:00 a.m. ET on FS1 and Peacock

England and Senegal2:00 p.m. on FS1 and Peacock

Monday, December 5th

Japan vs Croatia10:00 a.m. ET on FS1 and Peacock

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Brazil vs South Korea2:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and Peacock

Tuesday, December 6th

Morocco vs Spain10:00 a.m. ET on FS1 and Peacock

Portugal vs Switzerland2:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and Peacock

Can I watch the 2022 World Cup if I don’t have a cable subscription?

on Saturday? yes. Fox will carry the World Cup, as will Telemundo, both of which can be picked up via an over-the-air antenna in most cities, meaning you’ll be able to watch even if you don’t have a cable subscription.

To ensure that you are getting the most reliable signal, be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home. Note, however, that you won’t be able to watch games on FS1, which will carry a number of games for English fans.

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How can I stream the 2022 World Cup if I don’t have a cable subscription?

There are several options:

peacock

broadcast service on NBC It is the home of live World Cup broadcasts, featuring all 64 matches broadcast by Spain. There will also be an on-demand broadcast of completed matches. (Note that there’s no English-language streaming alternative announced yet. You can get a free seven-day trial, followed by $5 or $10 per month. (The Peacock free version doesn’t include live sports.)

Hulu With live TV

Free trial on this service It is also no longer shown. It will cost you $70 per month.

The YouTube

After up to Two-week trialYou can expect a monthly fee of $65.

sling tv

Dish Network’s Sling’s lowest-tier “Orange” plan will set you back $35 per month. Adding the more comprehensive Blue plan brings the cost to $50 per month. You’ll first get a free seven-day trial — and for now, the cord-cutting service cuts your first month’s bill in half.

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DirecTV Stream

Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow, and AT&T TV, this A frequently renamed streaming service You will get $70 per month and up after the free trial option.

Fubo TV

This sport that focuses on cutting the rope Services Carries broadcast networks in most markets. There is a seven-day free trial, followed by a monthly fee of between $70 and $100, depending on the channels you choose.

How does the knockout phase of the World Cup work?

From now on, win or go home. Each match is single elimination and there are no ties.

If the game is still tied after 90 minutes, it goes into 30 minutes of extra time. If things still don’t settle down after 120 minutes of total play, it will be settled in a penalty shootout. Each side takes turns shooting the ball from the penalty spot as the goalkeeper attempts to stop the shot. The team that scores the most goals out of five attempts wins.

If things continue even after those five kicks, the penalty shoot-out continues until “one team scores more goals than the other from the same number of kicks,” according to FIFA.

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Microsoft is ready to fight for the $69 billion Activision deal

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(Bloomberg) — Microsoft is ready to fight over its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. If sued, the US Federal Trade Commission seeks to block the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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The Xbox maker has not been in talks with the FTC about remedies or waivers intended to approve the deal, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a confidential matter. The person added that FTC staff are wrapping up their investigation and are expected to make a recommendation soon. The FTC commissioners will then vote on whether to file a case.

In the event that the FTC attempts to block the case, Microsoft is preparing to challenge that decision in court, said the person, who requested anonymity speaking about the internal strategy. Jennifer Rhee, an antitrust analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said it wouldn’t surprise her if the FTC filed a lawsuit seeking to block the deal, but noted that a court battle would be hard for its enforcers to win and Microsoft could prevail — though the legal battle could stretch. after the deal’s expiry date. Microsoft said it expects to close the deal by June 30.

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Another option for Microsoft would be to abandon the deal in the face of a challenge from the Federal Trade Commission. That’s what the company did in 1995 when the US government sued to block its acquisition of Intuit Inc. to manufacture accounting software, as Microsoft said it did not want to face a long legal battle.

Microsoft’s best chance of winning approval to buy Activision is to convince the Biden administration to accept a settlement in which it promises it will not withhold its popular titles from competitors.

But Biden’s antitrust enforcers aren’t fond of such agreements — especially after the Ticketmaster bombing this month brought to light a failed 2010 Justice Department settlement with Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

The FTC takes a tough approach to mergers, especially when it comes to technology and digital markets, but has not indicated whether it plans to sue to block the deal.

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In July, the agency filed a lawsuit to block Meta Platforms Inc. From the purchase of the virtual reality application Fitness Inside, claiming that the deal can eliminate competition in a small number of markets, referred to as “emerging competition”.

Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission declined to comment. Politico reported last week that the Federal Trade Commission is likely to challenge the deal.

The US is one of at least three jurisdictions in which regulators have raised questions about the mega deal, which would dramatically change the landscape of video games and put Microsoft in third place in the global gaming market behind Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sony Group Corp.

European and UK antitrust regulators have raised questions about whether the popular Call of Duty game franchise will still be available to gamers on Sony’s PlayStation console and whether the merger will allow Microsoft to take a dominant role in the burgeoning but still small market for cloud gaming services.

Microsoft has offered Sony a deal whereby Call of Duty games will be available on PlayStation for ten years, though the companies will need to put in place financial terms to the agreement, the person said.

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That person said the software giant advised regulators of these discussions, but did not submit a formal remedy proposal because the review process had not progressed to that stage.

It doesn’t make financial or strategic sense for Microsoft to keep the best-selling PlayStation game franchise because more copies of games are sold on PlayStation than on Xbox and because such a move would anger gamers in a way that could have negative implications for Microsoft. In fact, the acquisition wouldn’t be financially viable for Microsoft if it cut Call of Duty to PlayStation, the person said.

Given the various stages of various investigations around the world, Microsoft will likely discuss this move first with the European Commission, which has set March 23 as the deadline for completing its in-depth review of the deal.

The person said Microsoft hopes the remedies it provides to the European Union will be sufficient globally. However, UK regulators will likely want additional steps from the company.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently under an in-depth investigation of the deal after an initial investigation found concerns in game consoles, multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming marketplaces.

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The agency said in an October document outlining the scope of its investigation that it was concerned that the deal could allow Microsoft to gain massive market power that would allow it to cut out competitors such as Sony. Although Microsoft promised it would not do so because of reputational damage to Xbox or Call of Duty, the watchdog said it had not identified “convincing evidence” to believe the statements.

Scrutiny of the dominance of big tech companies by the UK agency has intensified since it gained new powers post-Brexit.

Microsoft and the CMA will appear at a key party hearing in mid-December, part of the UK merger process that will allow them to segment and test the parties’ arguments. The agency is expected to make an interim decision by January, and the deadline for a full decision is March.

— With assistance from Emily Birnbaum and Stephanie Bodoni.

(Updates to add the previous acquisition challenge in the fourth paragraph.)

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ABB agrees to pay $315 million to settle coordinated African bribery investigation (NYSE:ABB)

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ABB (New York Stock Exchange:ABB) She agreed to pay more than $315 million The US Department of Justice announced on Friday that it is ending a multinational investigation into the bribery of a high-ranking official of South Africa’s state-owned energy company Ascom.

ABB (ABB) bribed an Eskom official during 2014-2017 “in order to corruptly obtain classified information and win lucrative contracts,” the DOJ said.

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The company’s subsidiaries also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate anti-bribery provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The Justice Department said its decision was coordinated with prosecutors in South Africa and Switzerland, as well as the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said in September it had set aside $325 million to cover costs related to the investigations surrounding the Kozel power plant in South Africa.

ABB’s (ABBQ3 results included above-average revenue and order growth, as well as the best margins seen in many years, but the next 12-18 months should be more challenging for reported revenue and order growth, Stephen Simpson writes in Post analysis on the search for alpha.

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