Whistleblower alleges Donald Trump retaliated against Melania’s director for refusing to give her shares

According to The Washington Post, a former executive of Donald Trump’s media firm claims that the former President retaliated against an employee who refused to give Melania Trump shares in the company.

According to the Washington Post Wilkerson filed a whistleblower complaint against Trump’s media venture in August with the Securities and Exchange Commission and also provided a tranche of internal documents to the SEC. Wilkerson shared the email with the Post as well. In it, Andy Litinsky, co-founder of the company, claims that Trump retaliated against Wilkerson for refusing to give shares to his former wife.

The former president is the chairman and major shareholder of TMTG. This is the parent company behind the social media platform Truth Social.

Litinsky was a contestant in Trump’s 2004 reality TV series “The Apprentice” and refused Trump’s demands. He was then removed from TMTG’s board of directors months later, according to the Post. Wilkerson explained to the Post that Litinsky believed his ouster was revenge for not transferring his shares to Melania Trump. Litinsky didn’t respond to a request for comments.

After speaking with reporters at the Post, Patrick Mincey (an attorney representing Wilkerson) confirmed that Wilkerson had been fired on Thursday. Wilkerson is represented by Phil Brewster and Stephen Bell.

“Trump Media’s termination after the company was contacted by the Washington Post for comment is patent retaliation towards an SEC whistleblower, of the worst type,” Mincey Bell, Brewster, and Brewster stated jointly.

A spokesperson for TMTG disputed the Post’s story.

She stated that the Washington Post had published a story “rife with knowingly falsified and defamatory statements, and other concocted psychodramas.” “We will consider the republication of these statements as legal-actionable evidence that reckless disregard for the truth.”

Melania Trump and SEC didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s Media has had a turbulent year

Since its inception, TMTG was plagued by scandals and red flags. Matthew Tuttle, CEO of Tuttle Capital Management LLC, described the financial arrangements behind Trump’s media venture as “weird” and “muddled”.

Wilkerson claimed that Trump refused his money to the company, despite his demand to own 90% of the shares. Due to Trump’s fraud claims in the 2020 presidential election, they were unable to raise funds. They decided to find a different route that would allow them the opportunity to avoid investor scrutiny.

TMTG announced late last year that it would be going public via a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. This is a type of shell company called a SPAC or special purpose acquisition company. SPACs are a way to raise money for the acquisition and integration of public-private companies. They are blank-check companies that exist only to search for suitable merger partners.

Legal scrutiny has halted the controversial merger. In addition to the SEC, the Justice Department is also investigating. Digital World announced in June that its board members were subject to subpoenas by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York regarding due diligence related to the deal.

Future of the merger

Digital World claims that federal probes have prevented the completion of the deal with TMTG. Digital World was unable to obtain shareholder approval before the deadline last month to extend its merger agreement to TMTG. The shell company claimed last month that it was able to purchase additional time due to ARC Global Investments II, its sponsor. This fund allowed the company to exercise its unilateral option to extend the merger agreement for three months.

Digital World would have to return approximately $300 million raised if that had not happened. This money will be used to finance the merger with Truth Social owner TMTG. The additional $1 billion Trump media company has raised would also be threatened by liquidation.

Digital World shares dropped 8% Monday to $16.11, putting them at 70% for the year.

SPACs are becoming more popular than traditional initial public offerings due to their ability to save time and money. However, regulators have warned investors not to take SPACs public. SPAC sponsors may have conflicts of interest that give them more favorable terms than the general public. This gives them the incentive to push through the merger even if it is not good for regular investors.

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