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UPDATE 3-U.S. SEC opens probe into EV company Workhorse Group -letter

UPDATE 3-U.S. SEC opens probe into EV company Workhorse Group -letter

reuters.com · 09/01/2021 13:50
UPDATE 3-U.S. SEC opens probe into EV company Workhorse Group -letter

Recasts first sentence with new sourcing, adds details on self-described short seller, background

- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened a probe 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 published by a short seller.

The securities regulator disclosed in a letter dated June 30 that its enforcement division had been investigating Workhorse and that the probe is "still active," according to a copy published on the website of Fuzzy Panda Research.

Workhorse, which did not respond immediately to a request for comment, in June challenged a decision by the U.S. Postal Service earlier this year to award a multibillion-dollar, 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture a new generation of postal delivery vehicles. nL1N2KT2OO nL2N2NY3BE

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

Lordstown months ago announced the sudden departure of its founder and former top boss, Steve Burns, after an internal investigation into short-seller Hindenburg Research's claims that the startup overstated the viability of its technology and misled investors about production plans. nL3N2NW1EY

Burns was also the former CEO of Workhorse.

Lordstown has also faced scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the SEC regarding its merger with a blank-check company and previously made statements about preorders for its vehicles. nL1N2LN247

The SEC and U.S. prosecutors in July charged Trevor Milton, the former CEO of EV firm Nikola Corp NKLA.O, with defrauding investors by lying to them about the company. nL1N2P529W

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

((christine.prentice@thomsonreuters.com; +1 (202) 843-6464;))