Lordstown Motors drops after report that the EV maker is the target of a probe by the Justice Department

Endurance electric pickup truck by Lordstown Motors
The Endurance.

Lordstown Motors dropped as much as 17% to $8.56 a share after the Wall Street Journal reported the electric vehicle-maker is the target of a probe from the US Department of Justice.

The US attorney’s office in Manhattan is handling the Lordstown inquiry, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The report did not disclose further details regarding the DOJ probe.

Trading was halted a minute after the WSJ report and resumed five minutes later.

Shares of Lordstown Motors have plunged roughly 50% since the electric vehicle company went public via a SPAC in October.

In March, short seller Hindenburg Research published allegations that Lordstown had fabricated preorder numbers for its electric truck to generate hype.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission first requested information from Lordstown in February and has issued subpoenas regarding the company’s move to go public and its representations about preorders. Lordstown Motors has said it is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

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Antivirus magnate John McAfee has been indicted on federal charges related to ‘the fraudulent promotion of cryptocurrencies’

John Mcafee
McAfee Antivirus founder John McAfee.

  • McAfee Antivirus creator John McAfee is being indicted on federal charges for the second time.
  • This indictment is related to “the fraudulent promotion to investors of cryptocurrencies.”
  • McAfee faces a variety of charges, and is currently detained in Spain for a prior indictment.
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Cybersecurity mogul and former presidential candidate John McAfee is facing a variety of charges brought by the US Department of Justice, according to a newly unsealed indictment.

McAfee is being charged on a range of offenses, “stemming from two schemes relating to the fraudulent promotion to investors of cryptocurrencies qualifying under federal law as commodities or securities,” the DOJ statement published Friday said.

Those charges range from, “conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud” to “money laundering conspiracy offenses,” and come in addition to a series of prior charges related to alleged tax evasion.

More specifically, McAfee and a colleague “allegedly raked in more than $13 million from investors,” Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said, through a variety of means related to cryptocurrency: A so-called “pump and dump” scheme, the indictment said, and undisclosed agreements to promote certain currencies for compensation. 

“The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives,” Strauss said.

If found guilty, McAfee faces a potential maximum prison sentence that would amount to a life sentence.

McAfee has over 1 million Twitter followers, and remains active on the social media platform – even though he’s currently imprisoned in Spain due to the prior tax evasion charges. In his profile, McAfee described himself as an, “Iconoclast,” and a, “Lover of women, adventure and mystery.” 

McAfee didn’t respond to a request for comment as of publishing.

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Ex-NYPD officer charged with using a flagpole to assault a cop during the US Capitol riot

GettyImages 1230456954
A pro-Trump mob clashes with police on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

  • Thomas Webster appeared in court Tuesday over charges he assaulted a police officer.
  • Webster is a former member of the New York Police Department.
  • Prosecutors accuse him of using a flagpole to attack an officer at the January 6 US Capitol riot.
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A former member of the New York Police Department appeared in court Tuesday to face charges that he assaulted a police officer with a dangerous weapon during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

According to a criminal complaint, Thomas Webster, who was arrested Monday, was carrying a metal flagpole with a US Marine Corps flag on it when he began verbally harassing a member of the Metropolitan Police Department, declaring him a “commie” and a “piece of shit.”

Then, prosecutors say, Webster shoved a metal gate into the man and then lunged at him, “striking at the officer with the flagpole numerous times.”

He is at least the second man to be charged with using a flagpole to attack a police officer during the insurrection.

“You can see him ripping the officer’s protective gear off, the gas mask or the helmet that he was wearing at the time, which … caused the police officer to choke. It cut off his air at least for a short period of time,” Assistant US Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

twebster_pic
A man is seen attempting to rip a face mask off a police officer outside the US Capitol

The actions were caught on body camera footage. Prosecutors say Webster can also been seen on a YouTube video in restricted grounds at the US Capitol. “Send more patriots,” the man in the video states. “We need some help.”

Webster, who runs a landscaping company, was identified with screenshots from the video by an administrator at his children’s high school, according to the complaint.

If convicted, he could face more than a decade behind bars.

Webster is currently being held without bail until his next court appearance on March 3, with US Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause calling the video footage he reviewed “disturbing” and “well beyond First Amendment speech.”

His lawyer, James Monroe, said he intends to plead not guilty.

More than 250 people have now been charged in connection with the violence on January 6.

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