Fraud Case Studies
Adani: Stock, ESG Investment & Fraud Investigation
Sources: Hindenburg Report, Bloomberg
“Fraud Cannot Be Obfuscated By Nationalism Or A Bloated Response That Ignores Every Key Allegation We Raised.” – Hindenburg Research.
On Jan 24, 2023, Hindenburg released a Report to reveal the findings of their 2-year investigation on Adani Group. The report presented evidences that “the INR 17.8 trillion (U.S. $218 billion) Indian conglomerate Adani Group has engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.”. More details, please refer to Hindenburg Report on Adani Group.
On May 17, 2023, Bloomberg reported that – “The investment arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dramatically reduced its exposure to the Adani Group in its ESG portfolios in the weeks following allegations of fraud against the conglomerate by short-seller Hindenburg Research”. More details, please refer to Bloomberg’s news on Goldman Sachs Slashes Stake on Adani.
Fyber’s Industry Watcher – Adani Group has experienced a mass share sales following Hindenburg Report. Seven listed companies of the Adani Group have lost a combined of $48 Billion in market capitalization. The shares are going up gradually, however, the Securities and Exchange Board of India is conducting its investigation on the probe of the conglomerate until August 14, 2023.
Nikola: SPAC, EV Startup & Fraud Investigation
Source: Hindenburg Report, SEC.gov
“How to Parlay An Ocean of Lies Into a Partnership With the Largest Auto OEM in America.” – Hindenburg Research.
On June 15, 2020, Nikola filled Form S-1 with SEC regarding their SPAC deal between VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. and Legacy Nikola.
- “Our Company was originally known as VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. On June 3, 2020, VectoIQ consummated the Business Combination with Legacy Nikola pursuant to the Business Combination Agreement dated as of March 2, 2020 among VectoIQ, Legacy Nikola and Merger Sub. In connection with the Closing of the Business Combination, VectoIQ changed its name to Nikola Corporation. Legacy Nikola was deemed to be the accounting acquirer in the Merger based on an analysis of the criteria outlined in Accounting Standards Codification 805. While VectoIQ was the legal acquirer in the Merger, because Legacy Nikola was deemed the accounting acquirer, the historical financial statements of Legacy Nikola became the historical financial statements of the combined company, upon the consummation of the Merger”.
More details, please refer to Nikola Corporation’s Form S-1 on SEC.gov .
On September 10, 2020, Hindenburg released a Report to reveal their findings on Nikola Corporation. As per Hindenburg’s Report, key findings are:
- Nikola is an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies over the course of its Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton’s career.
- Hindenburg has gathered extensive evidence—including recorded phone calls, text messages, private emails and behind-the-scenes photographs—detailing dozens of false statements by Nikola Founder Trevor Milton. They said they have never seen this level of deception at a public company, especially of this size.
- Trevor has managed to parlay these false statements made over the course of a decade into a ~$20 billion public company. He has inked partnerships with some of the top auto companies in the world, all desperate to catch up to Tesla and to harness the EV wave.
- Hindenburg examined how Nikola got its early start and show how Trevor misled partners into signing agreements by falsely claiming to have extensive proprietary technology.
More details, please refer to Hindenburg Report on Nikola Corporation.
On July 29, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, announced charges against Trevor R. Milton, the founder, former CEO and former executive chairman of Nikola Corporation, for repeatedly disseminating false and misleading information – typically by speaking directly to investors through social media – about Nikola’s products and technological accomplishments. More details, please refer to SEC Charges Founder of Nikola Corp. with Fraud.
On December 21, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, announced that Nikola Corporation, a publicly traded company created through a special purpose acquisition company transaction, has agreed to pay $125 million to settle charges that it defrauded investors by misleading them about its products, technical advancements, and commercial prospects. More details, please refer to Nikola Corporation to Pay $125 Million to Resolve Fraud Charges.
Fyber’s Industry Watcher – Nikola with its $12 Billion IPO, has lots about 95% of its valuation. From the highest price of $65.90 per share on June 15, 2020, it was being traded around $0.61 per share as of May 31, 2023, with market capitalization of approximately $650 Million.