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15 Feb, 2022 12:03

Trump’s longtime accountants sever ties

Mazars USA notified the ex-president’s company that a decade’s worth of its financial statements could ‘not be relied upon’
Trump’s longtime accountants sever ties

Mazars USA, a longtime accounting firm for the Trump Organization, has severed ties with former President Donald Trump’s enterprise. On top of that, the company notified the Trump Organization that its financial statements for 2011 through 2020 “should no longer be relied upon,” as evidenced by court documents released on Monday.

In a February 9 letter to the Trump Organization, Mazars’ General Counsel, William J. Kelly, explained that a decade’s worth of documents were deemed unreliable “based, in part, upon the filings by the New York Attorney General on January 18, 2022,” as well as the accounting company’s “own investigation, and information received from internal and external sources.

And while Kelly admitted that the financial statements did not seem to “contain material discrepancies,” the accounting firm still advised the Trump Organization not to rely on those, citing the “totality of the circumstances.

The letter goes on to notify the former president’s company that Mazars USA was not “able to provide any new work product to the Trump Organization” on account of a “non-waivable conflict of interest” between the two. 

The message ended up in the public domain on February 14, when it was released as part of court documents related to a civil investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James into the Trump Organization’s business practices.

James suspects the former president’s business of misrepresenting the value of its assets on multiple occasions to get financial benefits.

She filed the Mazars letter as part of her efforts to force Trump and his company to provide outstanding documents along with testimony by Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.

On Monday, James described the Mazars letter as backing up the legitimacy of the investigation, arguing that “evidence continues to mount showing that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit.

James launched the probe back in 2019 after Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress that his former boss had manipulated his company’s property values to lower his real estate tax obligations and obtain bank loans.

Should the officials prove wrongdoing on the part of the Trump Organization, it could face financial penalties as a result.

Trump, for his part, has maintained his innocence all along, and described James’ probe as politically motivated.

Commenting on the Mazars letter, Trump Organization spokesperson Kimberly Benza said that “while we are disappointed that Mazars has chosen to part ways,” the letter, in her view, confirmed that the “statements of financial condition do not contain any material discrepancies." According to Benza, “this confirmation effectively renders the investigations by the DA (District Attorney) and AG (Attorney General) moot.

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