Trump Media merger partner loses board member days before meeting

In this illustration taken on February 21, 2022, the logo of Sachai’s social network is shown behind a woman holding a smartphone.

Dado Ravitch | Reuters

A South Florida real estate executive has taken off the board. Digital World Acquisition CorporationThe billion-cheque company that has agreed to take former President Donald Trump’s media company public, according to a securities filing Wednesday.

Justin Shaner, CEO of Shaner Properties in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, resigned from DWAC’s board of directors on Friday, the filing said.

The move comes days ahead of DWAC’s shareholders meeting, which is scheduled to take place on November 22. DWAC’s CEO, Patrick Orlando, has postponed meetings several times in recent months as he seeks shareholder approval to delay his company’s merger with Trump Media and Technology Group. Owned the Truth Social app for about a year.

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The DWAC-Trump media deal is being investigated by federal prosecutors and regulators. Former Trump media executive Will Wilkerson turned over the documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and filed a whistleblower complaint alleging misrepresentation by the companies.

If the merger deadline is not pushed back to early December, DWAC will likely liquidate.

Shaner did not immediately return a request for comment, and neither did DWAC. “Mr. Shaner’s resignation is not the result of any disagreement with the company regarding any matter related to the company’s operations, policies or practices,” DWAC said in Wednesday’s filing.

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Shaner was a board member of Beniceri Capital Acquisition Corp., another Orlando-based billionaire company that is under investigation by federal authorities in connection with the DWAC investigation. In June, Beniceri and some of its directors were indicted by the SEC and a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York, according to the filing.

Beniceri said in October that it would exit after a merger agreement with another company, E-Combustible Energy. Beniceri had said the SEC investigation delayed its registration statement, according to a securities filing. The Trump media has also blamed regulators for the delay in the merger with DWAC.

Shares of DWAC It fell 16% to $21.29 on Wednesday, the day Trump announced he would run for president in 2024.

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Trump himself is under federal criminal investigation, while his main business, the Trump Organization, is under investigation in New York.

He founded Truth Social after being banned on Twitter for his posts on January 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters stormed the US Capitol in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. attacked Elon Musk, the new owner and CEO of Twitter, has said he will allow Trump to return to the social network, where the former president had about 88 million followers. He has about 4 million followers on Truth Social.

— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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