Dueling Portraits of Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Presented at Securities-Fraud Trial

Diverging portraits of Nikola Corp. founder Trevor Milton emerged Tuesday at the start of his securities-fraud trial, as lawyers clashed over whether the former executive was a fraudster who lied about his company’s electric-truck technology, or a visionary who promoted its innovative products.

Mr. Milton, 40 years old, is charged with two counts of securities fraud and two more for wire fraud. He resigned from the company in 2020 and was indicted last year.