Tag Archives: Fraud

Grifters gotta grift: the Trump swamp (updated)

Why has this crook not already resigned, or been fired? Oh that’s right, he works for America’s premier grifter, Donald Trump.

Dan Alexander at Forbes reports on Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross robbing his clients blind to build his fortune. New Details About Wilbur Ross’ Business Point To Pattern Of Grifting:

A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been quietly making its way through the New York State court system over the last three years, pitting a private equity manager named David Storper against his former boss: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The pair worked side by side for more than a decade, eventually at the firm, WL Ross & Co.—where, Storper later alleged, Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork. Two weeks ago, just before the start of a trial with $4 million on the line, Ross and Storper agreed to a confidential settlement, whose existence has never been reported and whose terms remain secret.

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There are bigger allegations. Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.

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New York sues Trump Foundation for self dealing

The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his dogged reporting of Trump’s philanthropy over the years, and found that it had been exaggerated and often was not truly charitable activities at all, reports that New York files suit against President Trump, alleging his charity engaged in ‘illegal conduct’:

The New York attorney general filed suit against President Trump and his three eldest children Thursday, alleging “persistently illegal conduct” at the president’s personal charity, saying Trump repeatedly misused the nonprofit organization — to pay off his businesses’ creditors, to decorate one of his golf clubs and to stage a multimillion-dollar giveaway at his 2016 campaign events.

The full 41-page court filing is online here (pdf).

In the suit, filed Thursday morning, Attorney General Barbara Underwood asked a state judge to dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation. She asked that its remaining $1 million in assets be distributed to other charities and that Trump be forced to pay at least $2.8 million in restitution and penalties.

Underwood said that oversight of spending at Trump’s foundation was so loose that its board of directors hadn’t met in 19 years, and its official treasurer wasn’t even aware that he was on the board.

Instead, she said, the foundation came to serve the spending needs of Trump — and then, in 2016, the needs of his presidential campaign. She cited emails from Trump campaign staff members, directing which charities should receive gifts from the Trump Foundation, and in what amounts.

Underwood also asked that Trump be banned from leading any other New York nonprofit organization for 10 years — seeking to apply a penalty usually reserved for the operators of small-time charity frauds to the president of the United States.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, the ‘zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,’ announces his retirement

I must admit that I am conflicted about today’s news.

Part of me wants to do my happy dance over the GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, House Speaker Paul Ryan, announcing that he will not seek reelection. This guy has been the media’s biggest darling and intellectual fraud of the past two decades.

But by quitting he deprives me of the sweet joy of seeing him defeated and humiliated, as he was in 2012 as the vice presidential nominee of Willard “Mittens” Romney. Vice President Joe Biden destroyed him in the VP debate. I want the catharsis of seeing Ryan defeated and humiliated because this insufferable asshole so richly deserves it. Good riddance.

On an eventful day such as this, it is time to check in with one of Paul Ryan’s harshest critics with which to celebrate, Charles Pierce at Esquire. Paul Ryan Will Retire as the Biggest Fake in American Politics:

It’s probably too much to hope that Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, will dedicate his retirement to public service the way that his immediate predecessor has.

Acreage Holdings (“Acreage”) (www.acreageholdings.com), one of the nation’s largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations, announced the appointments of former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner and former Governor of the State of Massachusetts Bill Weld to its Board of Advisors.

Instead, he’s going back to Janesville to be the Dad he’s always wanted to be, home to his 5,786-foot Georgian mansion on Courthouse Hill, and its 13 rooms, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, the little house on the Wisconsin prairie that Ryan was able to afford because he married money, the one that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Paul Ryan has somehow amassed a fortune of between four and seven million dollars without holding any job except “Congressman” for the past 20 years.

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Treasury Department engages in #GopTaxScam

The Treasury Department failed to produce an economic analysis of the GOP tax bill before the House and Senate votes, despite the year-long promises from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. This resulted in the Inspector general launches inquiry into whether Treasury hid Republican tax bill analysis

The Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched an inquiry into whether the department hid an analysis of the Republican tax bill — or even did one at all.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote to Treasury Inspector General Eric M. Thorson on Thursday asking for an inquiry after a New York Times article said members of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy, which would do such an analysis, said they were not working on one.

“Either the Treasury Department has used extensive taxpayer funds to conduct economic analyses that it refuses to release because those analyses would contradict the Treasury secretary’s claims, or Secretary Mnuchin has grossly misled the public about the extent of the Treasury Department’s analysis,” Warren wrote. “I am deeply concerned about either possibility.”

Rich Delmar, counsel to the inspector general, said Thursday the office had launched an inquiry and that it was a “top priority.”

Yesterday, Treasury released a one-page “analysis” that is a sick joke. Treasury Defends Tax Plan Cost With One-Page Analysis:

The Treasury Department released a one-page analysis of the nearly 500-page Senate tax bill on Monday that suggested the $1.5 trillion plan would more than pay for itself, assuming the economy grows much faster than any independent analysis of the bill has projected.

The Treasury acknowledged that its analysis was based on optimistic economic forecasts that assumed a host of policy changes yet to be enacted, including increased infrastructure spending, further loosening of business regulations and changes to welfare programs.

The analysis left many tax experts scratching their heads and prompted criticism that the Treasury was offering misleading data.

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GOP tax bill: the devil is in the details to derailing this terrible bill

The House and Senate conference committee will be meeting this week to hash out the differences between the House and Senate GOP tax bills to come up with a conformed bill that still must be passed by both chambers to become law.

There is a scenario or two in which this terrible tax bill falls apart. Jim Newell writes at Slate, How the Tax Deal Could Fall Apart:

The biggest development this week was that negotiators, for the first time in the process, seriously looked at reinstating some version of the state and local income tax deduction. There appear to be two reasons for this. The first would be the sizable, and mercurial, California GOP delegation in the House. Eleven out of 14 of these members voted for the original House bill—an odd move, since one of the bill’s ambitions is to redistribute Californian wealth elsewhere. Rather than flex their leverage in the original fight, though, they put their faith in Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to ensure it’s fixed in conference. The second reason—and the one that explains why Californians might prevail—is that they appear to have an even greater ally in this fight than McCarthy: President Trump. The Washington Post reported this week that Trump’s rich friends in New York have been bitching to him about the SALT elimination. That goes a long way.

Even a modest retention would be costly. Eliminating the deductibility of state and local income taxes is a major revenue-raiser in both the House and Senate bills. Other pay-fors that were included in both the House and Senate bills might not last in the joint negotiations as well. There is a flat-out error in the Senate bill regarding the corporate alternative minimum tax, and the Senate’s last-minute decision to keep the individual AMT is meeting resistance as well. The House bill, which more aggressively pursued deductions for graduate students and those with major medical expenses, is also expected to be tamed.

What all this means is that conference negotiators are under pressure to find some hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue to keep the bill’s net cost within $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

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The GOP tax bill is generational theft that steals from our future

Republicans only care about the federal deficit and national debt when Democrats are in charge of Congress and the White House.

When Republicans are in charge, “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter,” as Dick Cheney infamously once said.

Remember when Republicans used to say that the national debt was “generational theft” from future generations of taxpayers? Funny how we are not hearing this from Republicans now.

But here is a recent example from Neal Urwitz at the conservative Newsmax, regarding the current GOP tax bill that will add another 1.5 trillion dollars plus to the national debt in order to give tax cuts to corporations and Plutocrats. It’s Not a Tax Cut — It’s Generational Theft:

Hey Baby Boomers — if you could stop stealing from my generation, we’d really appreciate it.

To be clear, I’m referring to President Trump’s tax-cut proposal. His proposal, if enacted, would increase the federal government deficit by trillions of dollars. Sure, the administration claims it’ll be revenue neutral, but there’s no way that’s true.

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So it’s simple math: taxing less + spending the same amount = massive deficit.

Sure, some people argue that the increased economic growth from tax cuts will make up the resulting deficit — this theory is known as the Laffer Curve — but even Republicans don’t really believe that anymore. The theory has simply been tried and failed too many times for anyone to reasonably think it’ll work this time.

To state the obvious, if we accumulate massive debt as a nation, someone has to pay the piper. And that is going to be all the generations after the Baby Boomers …

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The upshot is my generation will have to pay much higher taxes and will have less money for the things we’ll need in the future — like sophisticated defense, functioning education, homeland security, or fixing our crumbling infrastructure. Oh, and we’ll have to do it with anemic economic growth.

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