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Trump Media’s Accounting Firm Charged With Massive Fraud

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday charged the accounting firm for former President Donald Trump’s social media company with “massive fraud” after an investigation uncovered “deliberate and systemic failures” to comply with U.S. audit standards.

According to the SEC, BF Borgers and its owner Benjamin Borger allegedly fabricated documents and falsely represented to clients that its audit work would comply with accounting rules following a review of more than 1,500 SEC filings from 2021 to 2023. The Colorado-based firm and its owner have agreed to pay a combined $14 million to settle the charges, and were required to stop filing audited statements on behalf of its clients, which include Trump’s social media company.

“Ben Borgers and his audit firm, BF Borgers, were responsible for one of the largest wholesale failures by gatekeepers in our financial markets,” SEC Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. “They not only put investors and markets at risk by causing public companies to incorporate noncompliant audits and reviews into more than 1,500 filings with the Commission, but also undermined trust and confidence in our markets.”

The regulator said that it found the audit firm sometimes copied work from previous audits and only changed the relevant dates, passing them off as workpapers for a current audit period. BF Borgers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read More: Why Is Trump’s Truth Social Worth Billions? Experts Have Theories

The SEC made no allegation of wrongdoing against the former President or Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of the Truth Social platform, which has been a client of BF Borgers since 2022, according to regulatory filings. Trump Media was a private company for most of that time, suggesting that its filings were not among those investigated as part of the SEC review. The company went public in March.

A spokesperson for Trump Media said in a statement that the company “looks forward to working with new auditing partners in accordance with today’s SEC order.” Trump Media saw its share price slide 5% Friday morning, but has since slightly rebounded. 

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Write to Nik Popli at nik.popli@time.com