Truth Social's Auditor Is in Hot Water With the SEC

Agency accuses BF Borgers of 'deliberate and systemic failures' in more than 1.5K filings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2024 2:45 PM CDT
SEC Slams 'Sham' Auditors Keeping Tabs on Truth Social
The download screen for the Truth Social app is seen on a laptop on March 20 in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The auditing company responsible for keeping tabs on the parent company for Donald Trump's Truth Social platform apparently needed an auditor for itself. On Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused BF Borgers of "massive fraud," saying the "sham audit mill" found "deliberate and systemic failures" in upward of 1,500 filings from January 2021 through June of last year. CNBC reports that the firm and its owner, Benjamin Borgers, didn't have to admit or deny the allegations against them, but to settle the SEC's charges, they agreed to permanently hanging up their accounting hats, as well as fork over a combined $14 million in civil penalties ($12 million from the firm, $2 million from Borgers himself).

The Washington Post notes that the period in question "was before Trump Media & Technology Group went public, suggesting that its filings were not among those investigated as part of the review." BF Borgers noted previously that it has served as the Trump Media auditor since 2022. The SEC had accused BF Borgers of multiple transgressions, including "falsely representing to their clients that the firm's work would comply with [Public Company Accounting Oversight Board] 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 Financial Times spotted some notable errors last month in filings made by Benjamin Borgers: the misspelling of its own name. The Times notes it unearthed 14 variations (e.g., Ben F Brogers, Blake F Borgers, Ben F orgers), which the publication says may just be simple spelling mistakes—perhaps because Borgers is "overworked" or "fat-fingered." Even if Trump Media's records weren't included in the review, the SEC's allegations "raised questions about the accuracy of the financial information in thousands of reports that were issued by the companies Borgers audited," including Trump Media. A Trump Media rep tells CNBC that the company "looks forward to working with new auditing partners in accordance with today's SEC order." Trump Media's share price fell about 9% soon after trading opened on Friday. (More Trump Media and Technology Group stories.)

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