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Trump Media’s Newly Hired Auditing Firm Was Just Busted by the SEC for ‘Massive Fraud’

Trump Media’s Newly Hired Auditing Firm Was Just Busted by the SEC for ‘Massive Fraud’
Trump Media’s Newly Hired Auditing Firm Was Just Busted by the SEC for ‘Massive Fraud’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged an auditing firm hired by Trump Media and Technology Group just 37 days ago with “massive fraud” — though not for any work it performed for former President Donald Trump’s media company.

The SEC charged the accounting firm BF Borgers and its owner, Benjamin F. Borgers, with “deliberate and systematic failures” in more than 1,500 audits. The charges include failing to abide by accounting rules, fabricating documentation to cover up its shortcomings, and falsely stating in audit reports that its work met audit standards.

To settle the SEC charges, BF Borgers agreed to pay a $12 million fine while its owner agreed to pay a fine of $2 million, according to the SEC. Benjamin Borgers did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

BF Borgers and Benjamin Borgers also agreed to permanent suspensions, effective immediately, that will prevent them handling SEC-related matters as accountants.

The company had previously cycled through at least two other auditors — one that resigned the account in July 2023 and another that was terminated by the board in March, just as it was re-hiring BF Borgers.

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In a statement, Trump Media said it “looks forward to working with new auditing partners in accordance with today’s SEC order.”

The SEC found that BF Borgers’ shortcuts included copying audit documentation from a previous year, changing relevant dates and then passing it off as current documentation. In addition to falsely documenting work that was never actually done, that fake documentation detailed planning meetings with clients that never occurred and “falsely represented” that both Benjamin Borgers and another reviewer had approved the audit work.

“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 Grewal, director of the SEC’s enforcement division. “Thanks to the painstaking work of the SEC staff, Borgers and his sham audit mill have been permanently shut down.”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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