Trump Media merger partner loses board member days before meeting

The logo of the social network Veritas appears to be displayed behind a woman’s smartphone in this image taken on February 21, 2022.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

A South Florida real estate executive has left the board Digital World Acquisition Corp.a blank-checking company that agrees to accept Donald Trump’s top company in public media, according to a securities filing Wednesday.

Justin Shaner, CEO of Shaner Properties in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, said in a statement from the DWAC board of directors Friday.

The move comes a day before the DWAC partner meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 22. DWAC’s CEO, Patrick Orlando, had missed the meeting several times in recent months, while seeking shareholder approval to delay a merger with Trump Media and Technology Company, which owns the Veritas Social app, for about a year.

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The DWAC-Trump Media is heavily investigated by federal prosecutors and regulators. Will Wilkerson, a former Trump Media executive, handed over documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and filed a whistle-blower complaint, alleging defamation by the companies.

DWAC is likely to die if the merger is not notified and delayed by early December.

Shaner did not immediately return a request for comment, nor did DWAC. “Mr. Shaner’s resignation does not result in any disagreement with the Company on any matter related to the Company’s operations, policies, or practices,” DWAC said in a Wednesday filing.

Shaner was a board member at another Orlando-run blank-check company, Benesere Capital Acquisition Corp., which is also under investigation by federal authorities in connection to the investigation into DWAC. In June, Benesere and some of its directors were subpoenaed by the SEC and a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York, according to the filing.

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Benesereus said in October that he would be killed after a business merger with another company, eFuel Energy, fell through. Wells had said it was delaying its proposed registration due to an SEC investigation, according to a securities filing. Trump Media also criticized regulators for delaying its merger with DWAC.

Shares DWAC It fell 16% to $21.29 Wednesday, the day after Trump announced he would run for president in 2024. The stock is well up in the year to $101.87, which it will hit in March.

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

He founded Social Truth after being banned from Twitter for his posts on January 6, 2021, when hundreds of supporters attacked the US Capitol in an ultimately failed attempt to overthrow Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. New Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk said he would let Trump back on the social network, where the president had about 88 million followers. He has about 4 million followers on Social Media.

– CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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