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Lordstown Motors pays bill, late fee

LORDSTOWN — Electric truck startup Lordstown Motors Corp. has made good on its overdue real estate tax bills, plus a hefty penalty the automaker was given when it missed the tax deadline in early March.

Records show the company paid the $570,958 it originally owed to the Trumbull County Treasurer’s office and an additional $57,095 the company was fined for non-payment on four pieces of property it owns in Lordstown.

A company spokesman told this newspaper, the first to report the missed payments last week, then the situation was being rectified and later publicly chalked up the matter to an “unfortunate administrative error.” He did not respond to an email Monday asking for comment on the payment, which according to Treasurer Sam Lamancusa, was made Wednesday.

The taxes were due March 5. Lordstown Motors owes another $570,958 to the county by Aug. 6, the deadline to pay second-half 2020 property taxes.

The company acquired the former General Motors assembly plant and 600 acres on Hallock Young and Ellsworth Bailey roads for $20 million in November 2019 from GM to launch a battery-powered truck, the Endurance.

It publicly revealed the truck in late June at the plant at an event attended by former Vice President Mike Pence, but has become the source of scrutiny in the past few months.

The company’s stock has fallen steadily since hitting a high of $30.75 on Feb. 11, not helped by a scathing short-sellers report on March 12 that claims Lordstown Motors mislead its investors about preorders and the production schedule for the truck and four investor class-action lawsuits making similar claims that followed.

CEO Steve Burns since has said the company always has been transparent about the preorders.

It was also in March when Burns revealed publicly the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had asked the company for information. Documents the company filed with the SEC showed the probe was initiated on Feb. 17, a full month before Burns’ announcement during the company’s first-ever earnings call.

Burns said the company is complying with the SEC, which a filing shows sought information regarding, in part, Lordstown Motors’ merger in October with DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., a special purpose acquisition company based in New York.

Also, financial services and investment firm Goldman Sachs downgraded Lordstown Motors stock from buy to neutral and lowered its 12-month price target to $10 from $21, citing recent issues Lordstown Motors had at the SCORE San Felipe 250 Baja race on April 17. The company entered an off-road version of the Endurance in the grueling desert race, but completed only 40 miles of the 280-mile course.

The company’s stocked closed trading Monday at $9.22 per share, down 7 percent from Friday.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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