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Local Billionaire Trevor Milton Arrested on Fraud Charges

Nikola Motor Company

Billionaire Trevor Milton, owner of the $32 million ranch that was the most expensive real estate sale in Utah history, was indicted Thursday in Manhattan on charges of fraud.

Milton, 39, is founder of Nikola Motor Company, a start-up building zero-emissions trucks. He resigned as its board chairman last September when fraud allegations surfaced, and was charged by a grand jury Thursday with three counts of fraud for allegedly lying to investors about his company’s business to boost its stock prices.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed charges against Milton Thursday alleging civil securities fraud.

News reports said Milton was arrested in Manhattan earlier in the day and that he issued a statement saying he is cooperating with the investigation. Nikola’s stock price dropped after charges were announced.

Milton’s Riverbend Ranch, which he bought in 2019, occupies more than 2500 acres along the Weber River in Oakley, 25 minutes outside of Park City.

As a part-time Summit County resident Milton has been an active philanthropist, supporting non-profits, posting a $10,000 reward for information about illegal elk poaching and paying power bills for neighbors in need.