U.S. SEC opens investigation into electric vehicle company Workhorse Group – letter

The seal of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at their headquarters in Washington, DC, US REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

September 1 (Reuters) – The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an investigation into electric vehicle maker Workhorse Group Inc (WKHS.O), an early investor in Lordstown Motors Corp (RIDE.O) , according to a letter from the regulator released by a short seller.

The securities regulator revealed in a letter dated June 30 that its law enforcement division had investigated Workhorse and that the investigation was “still active,” according to a copy posted on the website by Fuzzy Panda Research.

Workhorse, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, challenged in June a decision by the U.S. Postal Service earlier this year to award a 10-year, multibillion-dollar contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture a next-gen postal delivery vehicles. Read more

Fuzzy Panda Research describes itself as a short seller on its website. The company did not respond to a request for comment on the letter, which was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Lordstown announced a few months ago the sudden departure of its founder and former boss, Steve Burns, after an internal investigation into claims by short seller Hindenburg Research that the startup overestimated the viability of its technology and tricked investors into error on production plans. Read more

Burns was also the former CEO of Workhorse.

Lordstown has also come under scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the SEC over its merger with a blank check company and has already made statements about preorders of its vehicles.

The SEC and U.S. prosecutors in July accused Trevor Milton, the former CEO of EV Nikola Corp (NKLA.O), of defrauding investors by lying to them about the company. Read more

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru, Ben Klayman in Detroit and Chris Prentice in Washington Editing by Aditya Soni and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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