Speed Reads

breaking news

Longtime accounting firm abruptly cuts ties with Trump amid ongoing probe

Donald Trump's longtime accounting firm abruptly ended its relationship with the former president last week "amid ongoing criminal and civil investigations into whether [Trump] illegally inflated the value of his assets," The New York Times reports, per Monday court filings.

In a Feb. 9 letter to the Trump Organization, the accounting firm, Mazars USA, detailed its decision and "disclosed that it could no longer stand behind annual financial statements" it had prepared for Trump. The statements were compiled with information Trump and his company provided.

In the letter, Mazars told the Trump Organization to "essentially retract the documents, known as statements of financial condition, from 2011 to 2020," writes the Times. Though the firm said it had not "as a whole" found material discrepancies between information the company provided and the actual value of Trump's assets, it instructed the organization to alert any recipient of the statements not to rely on them given "the totality of the circumstances." 

Mazars said it determined the statements were "no longer reliable based in part on the [New York] attorney general's earlier filings, its own investigations and information the accountants received from" both inside and outside the company, the Times writes.

The break-up is just the latest in New York Attorney General Letitia James' and the Manhattan district attorney's office investigation into Trump's business practices, including whether he used his financial statements "to defraud his lenders into providing him the best possible loan terms," writes the Times.

The letter from Mazars could "bolster" James' civil probe, but it is unclear how it might affect the district attorney's criminal investigation, notes the Times. Trump's lawyers will likely argue that the lenders he turned to would not have relied on the statements in question when offering him loans. Read more at The New York Times.