Scandal-plagued electric powered truck maker Nikola declared Thursday that it won a $two million grant from the U.S. Electricity Section to acquire hydrogen refueling technologies.

The grant was formally awarded July 7 — three months before Nikola founder Trevor Milton was indicted on three counts of felony fraud for lying about “nearly all elements of the business” to strengthen the startup’s inventory product sales.

“Even before the indictment, the looming authorized challenges have been very well recognised as the enterprise disclosed it experienced acquired subpoenas from both the Justice Section and the Securities and Trade Fee,” CNN noted.

Nikola claimed the grant was for advancing its investigation into autonomous refueling technologies for future hydrogen fueling stations. Some of the electric powered trucks Nikola is building would be run by large obligation hydrogen gas cells.

“This funding is crucial to advance essential hydrogen fueling technologies that can boost the over-all performance of gas-cell commercial motor vehicles, though preserving the security and dependability specifications demanded,” Pablo Koziner, who prospects Nikola’s hydrogen fueling enterprise, claimed in a news release.

Milton was forced to resign as Nikola’s govt chairman in September 2020 right after small-seller Hindenburg Analysis alleged the enterprise was “an intricate fraud crafted on dozens of lies over the program of [Milton’s] occupation.” Nikola admitted in a filing before this year that an inner investigation confirmed Milton experienced deceived traders.

In response to the grant award, Hindenburg noted that Milton’s indictment quoted him as expressing that “Nikola was creating hydrogen and was executing so at a minimized price, when [he] knew that in actuality no hydrogen was staying generated at all by Nikola, at any price.”

The small-seller added that it uncertainties “a $two million grant will help completely transform that lie into a reality.”

According to The Verge, the grant arrives at a time when the Electricity Section “is finding prepared to ramp up funding exercise to help advance the United States’ advancement of cleanse electricity technologies — a precedence below President Biden.”

The office “makes funding awards primarily based on a arduous, advantage-primarily based evaluation process that contains several technological innovation professionals examining programs,” it claimed Thursday.

Section of Electricity, electric powered trucks, grants, hydrogen refueling, Nikola, Trevor Milton