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An accounting firm hired to vet Truth Social’s financials quit after less than a year because it no longer wanted to be linked to Trump: FT

In World
April 16, 2024
  • WithumSmith+Brown quit being the auditor for Trump Media just months after being appointed.

  • The firm didn’t want to be associated with Donald Trump and his company, per the Financial Times.

  • Trump Media’s share prices have plunged in the weeks since it went public.

The accounting firm that was first hired to audit former President Donald Trump’s social media company quit just months after it was appointed, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

WithumSmith+Brown was appointed to vet Trump Media & Technology Group’s financials soon after it was founded in early 2021. But the firm resigned before the end of 2021, the FT reported citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the FT’s sources, WithumSmith+Brown no longer wanted to be associated with Trump and his company after several months on the job.

The accounting firm declined to comment on why it had resigned when approached by the FT.

“Apparently, the Financial Times’ business model is to charge its subscribers $75 per month for the privilege of reading outdated stories touting irrelevant information,” Trump Media said in a statement to the FT.

In January 2022, Trump Media instead turned to a smaller accounting firm to conduct the audit, BF Borgers, which has less than stellar record with regulators. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said it identified multiple deficiencies in every audit it had reviewed from BF Borgers in the past two years, per Bloomberg.

BF Borgers was also removed from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ peer review program in November “because the firm was found to be so seriously deficient in its performance that education and remedial, corrective actions are not adequate.”

Representatives for BF Borgers did not respond to FT’s request for comment.

The news surrounding Trump Media’s auditors come amidst a volatile time for the company’s stock price.

The company’s shares initially skyrocketed when it went public in March, only for prices to plunge just a week later. Trump Media’s shares had fallen again on Monday, per Axios.

That isn’t great for Trump, whose net worth is tied to his holdings in Trump Media. The former president’s net worth went up by more than $4 billion when the company’s shares rallied, only for him to be kicked off Forbes’ list of the world’s 500 wealthiest people when it went into freefall.

A sustained rally would have provided a much needed boost for Trump’s finances, considering his growing legal debts. Trump had a posted a $175 million bond on April 1 for his New York civil fraud case. He was originally supposed to pay a bond of $454 million before an appeal courts reduced the amount.

Trump is also on the hook for $83.3 million in defamation damages to E. Jean Carroll, a writer that a jury ruled last year he had sexually abused.

And on Monday, Trump appeared in a Manhattan court for his first criminal trial. Prosecutors have accused Trump of falsifying his business records in order to cover up a sex scandal with a porn star, Stormy Daniels.

Representatives for WithumSmith+Brown and Trump Media & Technology Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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