Nikola seeks to overturn founder Milton’s subpoena for his criminal case

NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) – Nikola Corp (NKLA.O), the maker of electric and hydrogen-powered trucks, asked a U.S. judge on Friday to overturn a subpoena for founder and former chief executive Trevor Milton as he was defending himself against criminals. charges of fraud, calling it an overly broad “fishing expedition”.

In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, Nikola said he had already produced millions of pages to Milton, including documents collected as part of a related investigation by the US Department of Justice and Securities. and Exchange Commission of the United States.

The company said it would be “unduly burdensome” to comply with Milton’s June 27 subpoena containing 38 requests for documents about its products, interviews with investigators, media appearances and other Questions.

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He called the subpoena “exactly the type of fishing exhibit” prohibited in the 1974 Supreme Court case of US v. Nixon.

Marc Mukasey, a lawyer for Milton, declined to comment.

Nikola’s request came after Bradley Bondi, another lawyer for Milton, said in a July 22 letter that his client “urgently” needs the subpoena documents for his scheduled September 12 trial.

Milton pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with two counts each of securities fraud and wire fraud.

Authorities accused him of misleading investors in social media posts, TV appearances and podcast interviews about Nikola’s products and business prospects, to drive up his stock price. and strengthen its entrepreneurial stature. Read more

Last month, prosecutors accused Milton of defrauding a Massachusetts man who sold him a ranch in Utah, and said he accepted now worthless Nikola stock options as a only partial payment based on Milton’s claims about the truck maker. Read more

Nikola agreed last December to pay $125 million to settle a civil fraud case with the SEC over its representations to investors. Read more

In United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court ordered then-President Richard Nixon to turn over tape recordings and other documents subpoenaed to a federal district court in connection with the scandal. of Watergate. Nixon resigned two and a half weeks later.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Marguerita Choy

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