The startup company promising to make all-electric pickup trucks in Lordstown is the topic of a New York Times article titled “Behind the Lordstown Debacle, the Hand of a Wall Street Dealmaker”.

The article by Matthew Goldstein and Emily Flitter focuses on real estate investor and former Goldman Sachs executive David Hamamoto who was the driving force turning Lordstown Motors into a public company.

The Times reported on Tuesday that before finding Lordstown Motors, Hamamoto spent more than a year looking for a business to take public using $250 million he had raised from Wall Street investors.

Diamond Peak, Hamamoto’s special purpose acquisition company, known as a SPAC, merged with Lordstown Motors last year.

According to the report, as smaller investors began to buy Lordstown Motor’s RIDE shares, the early Wall Street investors, including top Lordstown Motors executives who bought the stock cheaply before the merger, began to sell some of their shares.

The startup, which has yet to manufacture a truck for commercial sale, has admitted it is the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.  A recent media report cited sources as saying that LMC is also being investigated by the Justice Department.

Two executives, including former LMC President and CEO Steve Burns, resigned on the same day that an in-house committee admitted that claims of 100,000 pre-orders for the Endurance pickup truck had been inflated.

The Times writers cite information from two people familiar with the matter who say that Hamamoto didn’t focus enough on assessing the experience of Burns and other members of LMC’s management team.

“Mr. Burns, who fancied himself as the next Elon Musk, was known as a persuasive talker, prone to hyperbole, former Lordstown employees said. One said Mr. Burns liked to engage in “magical thinking,” behaving as if he could will things into existence,” the New York Times reported.

The company is the target of several lawsuits from investors claiming that they were misled by company statements and alleged non-disclosure of other information.

Shares of LMC’s RIDE stock, which once surpassed $30 per share, closed Monday at less than $9.

Hamamoto declined to be interviewed by the Times, however, issued  the following  statement to the paper:

During our diligence prior to entering into our business combination, it was clear that we have the technology and the assets to develop the first and best full-size all-electric pickup truck.” He added that “the board, management and the entire team are focused on making Lordstown Motors a success as we transition to the commercial stage of our business.”