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0 Views· 29 June 2022

The Mysterious Collapse Of Nikola Motors



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In this video, I cover the story of how a college dropout fooled all of Corporate America.

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Nikola Motors was supposed to be the company that would revolutionize transportation. The founder, Trevor Milton, raised billions of dollars from top-tier banks and landed a $2 billion partnership with General Motors. Milton even caught the eyes of basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. As one of the top 100 richest people in the world, Trevor Milton had more money than you can imagine. However, after years of promises and deceitful lies, Nikola Motors became a scam that was too big to survive. What was originally supposed to be a simple pump and dump ended up becoming one of the largest scams in US history. Trevor Milton wasn’t just part of the hydrogen and electric vehicle revolution. He represented the future of the world, with breakthrough claims of record low hydrogen prices and a battery that would surpass Tesla. So how did Trevor Milton seemingly deceive the entire financial world? This is the story of how Milton went from a college dropout to the founder of a $34 billion fraud.
In 2008, Trevor Milton was an average college student at Utah Valley University. Little did he know that he would become one of the biggest fraudsters in modern history. Milton never read any books and frequently went to parties. All of a sudden, after just one semester of college, he dropped out in order to start his own company, St. George Security, and Alarm. It didn’t take long for Milton’s first business to grow. After overpromising on several metrics, he sold the alarm company for almost $2 million. Several months later, the buyer of Milton’s alarm company found out that the company was practically worthless.
This was the first time that Milton felt the exhilarating thrill of scamming. People often say that when it comes to scamming, once you start, you can’t stop. Several lies and exaggerations already made Milton millions, and he recognized the potential. The next decade would mark the start of a roller coaster for Milton, from almost landing in jail multiple times to becoming an overnight billionaire. After selling the alarm business, Milton proceeded to create uPillar.com, a website that allowed users to check out from multiple websites at once. According to an interview from Forbes, Milton claimed that uPillar was the next Amazon. Milton even claimed that the website had too much traffic to handle, and that it had over 80 million users per month. However, as quickly as uPillar rose, the company also fell. Potential investors quickly saw through Milton’s scam and did not want to be involved. As a result, the house of cards fell and Milton ran out of money. So how did this next Amazon with massive traffic seemingly go bankrupt? In short, uPillar never had much traffic in the first place. According to a former uPillar employee, traffic on the site was incredibly low. This was a major fail for Milton, but he remained confident in his abilities. With uPillar, it was easy for people to see through his vaporware claims, but other sectors had some promising potential for scammers. In November of 2009, Milton founded dHybrid, a natural gas trucking company with disruptive potential. dHybrid allowed diesel trucks to run on natural gas through compressed natural gas conversion technology. From a trucking company’s perspective, the transition to natural gas was a no-brainer. Diesel fuel usually costs $4.00 per gallon, whereas natural gas only costs roughly $1.27 to $2.00 per gallon. By replacing 70% of the diesel engine with natural gas, dHybrid promised to be able to cut fuel costs by 38%. Swift Transportation saw the potential and invested $2 million for 9% of dHybrid. In addition, Swift entered an agreement with dHybrid to convert up to 10 trucks to run on natural gas. Despite being initially impressed, it didn’t take long for Swift to realize that dHybrid was a fraud. dHybrid failed to meet Swift’s agreement to convert 10 diesel fuel trucks to natural gas. Furious about Milton’s deceptive lies, Swift filed a lawsuit against dHybrid. It was at this moment that Milton knew he had to exit the business, so he decided to sell dHybrid, just like how he did with St. George Security and Alarm. By exaggerating on several metrics, Milton went into negotiations to sell dHybrid to Sustainable Power Group. Once again, Trevor Milton miserably failed.

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