The Justice Department has joined U.S. securities regulators in examining allegations that electric-truck startup Nikola Corp. misled investors by making exaggerated claims about its technology, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department’s inquiry is being handled by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, working in concert with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has initiated its own examination of the claims about Nikola, the people said.
Specifically, federal prosecutors are probing allegations that Nikola, a maker of electric and hydrogen-powered semi-trucks that listed publicly in June, misrepresented progress it made in developing key technology core to releasing new models, the people said.
Spokesmen for the SEC and Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
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Nikola declined to comment on whether it had been contacted by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office. “When we have something to disclose, we will,” a company spokeswoman said.
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