Trevor Milton to reimburse Nikola $165M per arbitration proceeding

Electric and hydrogen-powered heavy truck maker Nikola was awarded $165 million from its founder and former executive chairman, Trevor Milton, in an arbitration proceeding.

Nikola said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that an arbitration panel in New York awarded the funds to Nikola on October 20. The company had sought reimbursement for "costs and damages arising from actions that were the subject of government and regulatory investigations," including a December 2021 SEC settlement and an associated fine.

Milton originally pleaded not guilty to securities fraud after allegedly misleading investors about the company’s technological and production capabilities. He was found guilty on three out of four counts of fraud in October 2022. The former executive, who resigned from Nikola in 2020, lost a bid for a new trial in August.

After it was revealed that an infamous Nikola marketing video showing an 18-wheeler truck appearing to drive on its own electric power was, in reality, rolling down a hill, Nikola's stock price took a hit and investors suffered heavy losses.

Nikola settled a civil case with the SEC with a fine of $125 million in 2021, but Nikola didn't admit any wrongdoing at the time.

Shares of the company soared more than 19% in morning trading Tuesday, but have since dropped back down.