Founder of EV startup Nikola sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for fraud

That is a crazy amount of word salad.

Re: bastardizing Nikola Tesla’s name. It is funny how salespeople/conman founders like to associate themselves with geniuses. The founder of one of my companies hung a giant painting of Einstein in the lobby and gave everyone an Einstein action figure one year. Our business was legit, but was mostly based on repackaging of other people’s stuff for a business model that had a limited shelf life. No genius required, just salesmanship and a few over promises here and there. He took the company public and made $10-$30 million. The company is pretty much out of business 10 years later. The genius angle is part of the salesmanship.


The fool! Securities fraud means stealing from rich people, the most heinous crime there is!


I’ll be disappointed if his crime of manslaughter doesn’t end up in jail time.

Yeah I know, prepare to be, but I’m also preparing to hold these wilfully dangerous people to account.


That’s far for the most bizarre thing that he said at his sentencing hearing. The guy sounds like he would have had a real shot at a successful insanity defense, if he had tried for that:


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Ok, I’m not an Elon fan, so I’ll be happy to adjust my mental model of him to account for any “real” fraud he has committed along with all the other evil and bad crap he has done.

Do you have any examples off the top of your head?

I can really only think of things like calling someone who isn’t a pedapoile a pedaphile because Elon wanted to save some kids with a mini sub but someone who actually did something got the spotlight…all doers of labor law violations at X, and a pile of SEC violations. Oh, plus misleading marketing names that I doubt reach etc the level of fraud because anyone can sell “unlimited asterisk” phone plans that are absolutely limited, so “full asterisk self asterisk driving asterisk” cars probably get the same B.S. exception. Oh, and definitely not high on his list of Bad Stuff but gives strong hints as to his personal issues, he is a founder of Tesla by contract, not by plain language.

All of that is some real bull, but isn’t fraud.

I mean it is also all “someone who ought to be spending some time behind bars, or at the very least not an idol”, so if I missed some fraud I’m happy to be enlightened.

Dude’s an obvious liar, and just because he’s not been convicted of fraud doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened… When you’re the richest person on the planet, with your shitty fingers in all sorts of government pies, it’s much easier to fly under the radar…


Sometimes, people get away with all kinds of shit, because of WHO they are, and how they can game the system… Someone who is hoarding that much wealth and power, at the expense of ALL of us, isn’t on the level, if you ask me. And even if EVERYTHING he is done is strictly legal, that does not make it moral, ethical, or good for any of the rest of us.

These rich fucks don’t give two shits about humanity and they’re hell bent of ensuring their own wealth and privilege and will happily destroy the planet and the rest of us in pursuit of that. Don’t ever think that someone like him is going to be on your side.


He could afford a really expensive legal team, you don’t have to defend him so hard.


Seth Meyers Idk GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers

I really don’t understand people defending someone who has made very questionable decisions (if I’m being incredibly charitable, and I guess it IS the holiday season) and who is obviously pro-fascist! Just… WHY?!?


I’m not defending him, he’s a shit. I’m just a pedant so I object to someone saying he is runny shit when he is clearly chunky shit. Although I’m also a pedant who is clear that he doesn’t possess all knowledge so I’m more like “looks more chunky to me, I mean it smells and all, I’m open to it being runny as well, but I just haven’t seen it”

Don’t worry, someone will explain why in detail, any minute.

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So you’re just stirring?



I guess it depends on what you think is fraud.

Was ginning up hyperloop falsely in order to stop high speed rail fraudulent?

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Dude’s a fascist. Even if every single thing he did was super-legal, HE’S STILL A FUCKING FASCIST. :woman_shrugging:


Fair 'nuf, thanks!

(and for the record, I’m in agreement he is a shit, and I personally think if he has done any good it was accidental, like he was looking for something to take over and stroke his ego and to the extent that Tesla has done any good making EVs popular it wasn’t because Elon wants to save the environment, that is just some angle he stumbled into, not that I think Elon is responsible for making Tesla successful in any way other then dragging money to the table and pissing off the actual founders… I’m not excited to defend him so much as I prefer to dislike people for things I know they have done rather than related issues. Which makes the SEC Fruad investigation article you linked to gold because now I don’t have to come across as defining Elon merely because I think he hasn’t committed a particular crime, now I can just nod along with people painting him with a broader brush then I would have used say half an hour ago!)

I feel like society spends a lot of time trying to distinguish bullshit from lying, but to no apparent benefit except enabling both. People who have proven themselves completely dishonest need to stop being given so much leeway on it, period.


I don’t know. I don’t know if he knew it wouldn’t work at the time, or what the exact definition of fraud is, and I can’t remember exactly what promises he made for it.

I do know his biographer claimed he said he invented it to head high speed rail off at the pass, which is part of what I think one might need to show it was fraud, but if he actually thought it would work as a transit technology I’m not sure it would still be fraudulent.

Mindysan33 pointed to an article with a real fraud investigation though, so it is entirely possible he did commit real fraud. Certainly good enough that it is entirely fair to wonder why he isn’t in jail.


I found the slim volume that @CongenitalOptimist posted above very helpful in understanding just what bullshit is… It’s worth the time for people to pick up and check out for sure…


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