Trump Media Fires Auditor, Hires Arizona Firm

Trump Media Fires Auditor, Hires Arizona Firm
A person checks the app store on a smartphone for "Truth Social"—owned by Trump Media & Technology Group—with its website on a computer screen in the background, in Los Angeles on Oct. 20, 2021. (Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

An auditing firm in Phoenix, Arizona just landed a massive client—former President Donald Trump’s media company, Trump Media and Technology Group Corp., which owns the former president’s social media network Truth Social.

Trump Media officially has a market capitalization of $6.7 billion, more than all of the Phoenix-based auditing firm Semple, Marchal & Cooper (SMC), LLP’s pre-Trump clients combined.

A filing submitted on May 6 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that the company fired their former accounting firm BF Borgers CPA PC on May 3, immediately after the SEC announced charges against that company for “massive fraud.”

Trump Media hired the Phoenix firm one day later, according to the filing, and the decision to change independent accounting firms was “made with the recommendation and approval of the Audit Committee of [Trump Media].”

Trump Media noted the SEC order this past week in the May 6 filing, which stipulated that all of BF Borgers’ clients would have to find new partners.

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has advised that, in lieu of obtaining a letter from BF Borgers stating whether or not it agrees with the statements herein, the Company may indicate that BF Borgers is not currently permitted to appear or practice before the SEC for reasons described in the SEC’s Order…dated May 3, 2024.”

Trump Media said in the SEC filing on May 6y that the audit reports from BF Borgers on the company’s financial statements for 2022 and 2023 contained no adverse opinions.

Borgers was Trump Media’s independent accounting firm before the company went public earlier this year, with the company re-hiring BF Borgers as the public company’s accounting firm in March.

The SEC did not accuse Trump Media of any wrongdoing and the SEC’s review of BF Borgers’ filings only focused on public companies, of which the company only briefly represented Trump Media when it went public.

Prior Accountant Out

The order from the SEC this past week said that BF Borgers, an auditing firm that represented hundreds of clients including Trump Media, reached a $12 million settlement with the SEC to settle charges alleging it failed to comply with accounting oversight standards affecting over 1,500 of its SEC filings.

The firm BF Borgers CPA PC and owner Benjamin F. Borgers were charged by the agency with “deliberate and systemic failures to comply with Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) standards in its audits and reviews incorporated in more than 1,500 SEC filings from January 2021 through June 2023.”

The SEC in a statement on May 3 said the respondents were also being charged with “falsely representing to their clients that the firm’s work would comply with PCAOB standards; fabricating audit documentation to make it appear that the firm’s work did comply with PCAOB standards; and falsely stating in audit reports included in more than 500 public company SEC filings that the firm’s audits complied with PCAOB standards.”

The firm agreed to settle the charges with a $12 million civil penalty while Mr. Borgers agreed to pay a $2 million civil penalty, according to the SEC, though the agency said the acceptance of a consent order did not amount to “admitting or denying” each of the findings.

“Ben Borgers and his audit firm, BF Borgers, were responsible for one of the largest wholesale failures by gatekeepers in our financial markets,” said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

“Borgers and his firm completely abandoned that role, but thanks to the painstaking work of the SEC staff, Borgers and his sham audit mill have been permanently shut down,” Mr. Grewal said.

Semple, Marchal & Cooper, LLP’s website says that they were founded in 1982 and have grown steadily over the years to become a preeminent, and highly respected, certified public accounting firm.

“We are a full-service professional firm, dedicated to providing clients with services of the highest quality without compromising our responsibilities to those who rely on our objectivity,” the company website stated. “Our people, their technical breadth, depth, and experience, plus our clientele are our greatest strengths.”

The website further states that the company begins their working relationship with clients by conducting “a strategic analysis” of a company’s “current business and personal accounting needs.”

The Epoch Times reached out to Semple, Marchal & Cooper, LLP to see if it would have to review previous audits by BF Borgers after the activity levied against them by the SEC, but did not hear back.

The Epoch Times also reached out to Trump Media but did not hear back.

From The Epoch Times

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