As reported by Greg Palast, earlier today United Automobile Workers PresidentBob King announced that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington alleging Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called “blind” trust.
The Romneys’ gigantic windfall was hidden inside an offshore corporation inside a Limited Partnership inside a trust which both concealed the gain and reduces taxes on it.
The Romneys’ windfall was originally exposed in Nation Magazine, Mitt Romney’s Bail-out Bonanza after a worldwide investigation by our crew at The Guardian, the Nation Institute and the Palast Investigative Fund. [Ed. – The full story of Romney and his “vulture fund” partners is in Palast’s New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.]
According to ethics law expert Dr. Craig Holman of Public Citizen, who advised on the complaint, Ann Romney does not have a federally-approved blind trust. An approved “blind” trust may not be used to hide a major investment which could be affected by Romney if he were to be elected President. Other groups joining the UAW and CREW include Public Citizen, the Service Employees International Union, Public Campaign, People for the American Way and The Social Equity Group.
President Obama’s approved trust, for example, contains only highly-diversified mutual funds on which Presidential action can have little effect. By contrast, the auto bail-out provided a windfall of over 4,000% on one single Romney investment.
In 2009, Ann Romney partnered with her husband’s key donor, billionaire Paul Singer, who secretly bought a controlling interest in Delphi Auto, the former GM auto parts division. Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, threatened to cut off GM’s supply of steering columns unless GM and the government’s TARP auto bail-out fund provided Delphi with huge payments. While the US treasury complained this was “extortion,” the hedge funds received, ultimately, $12.9 billion in taxpayer subsidies.
As a result, the shares Singer and Romney bought for just 67 cents are today worth over $30, a 4,000% gain. Singer’s hedge fund made a profit of $1.27 billion and the Romney’s tens of millions.