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3 Disturbing Finds From Digging Deeply Into Mitt Romney’s Tax Return
By: Dennis SJun. 19th, 2012more from Dennis S
There’s but one definitive modern-day adjective that does full justice to Mitt Romney – sketchy. Read the full 203 pages of his joint 2010 income tax filing and see if you don’t agree. I do believe he’s a good family man. He’s certainly sleazed up a lucrative path for Tagg, one of his sons.
Mitt Romney has released a single income tax return (back in January), not two as the media keeps telling you. So he has made his 2010 filing available to the public. As for 2011, it’s all estimates. It was due April 17th and he promised to release it on that date. “When my tax returns are complete for this year, when they’re completed this year in April, I’ll release my returns in April and probably other years as well.” On April 17th he filed for a six-month extension. None of the “probably other years as well” have seen the light of day either. His dad and the president released multiple returns, as should Romney. I’d especially like to see his 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 returns. They could make fascinating reading.
Romney claims his 2010 income was $21,646,507. His taxes amounted to roughly 14%. His finances are odd at best and highly suspicious at worst. He’s got 3 blind trusts. There’s the Ann and Mitt Romney 1995 Family Blind Trust; the W. Mitt Romney Blind Trust and the Ann D. Romney Blind Trust. The ’95 trust and the Ann Romney trust seem to get most of the action.
The income tax form 1040 was filed jointly as a married couple by Willard M. and Ann D. Romney. The couple realized about 12 ½ million in Capital Gains. Mitt doesn’t want capital gains taxed AT ALL. Nor does he want to tax dividend and interest income. Most of the remaining Romney swag comes from ta ta!!! dividend and interest income. He hauled in $528.871 in author and speaker fees and a little more cabbage in Director bucks.
One truly puzzling aspect of the Romney return is the paucity of money coming from his overseas investments. And he’s got plenty of them. But many of them make but a few dollars. I’m talking $14 for instance. Some will get into the low five figures, but Gross Foreign Source Income seems low at $2,731,550.
Here were some of ‘Mitt and Ann Romneys’ favorite foreign investing holes. There was, of course, the infamous UBS Ann Romney blind trust account that was closed in 2010 after too many embarrassing questions. That’s the same account that yielded piggy-bank sized interest, though little was said about dividend payouts. Olten, Switzerland commanded some Romney money as well. How odd! The population is around 17,000 or so. The actual company the trust is doing business with is called “Swiss Prime Site”. It’s a high-end commercial and retail realtor. So did they buy some property in yodeland? The trust shows a gain of $71.00.
Our next stop on the ‘hide-the-money-so-we-won’t-have-to-pay-full-taxes’ tour takes us to Deutsche Beteiligungs AG in Frankfurt. DB is a big old private equity firm specializing in Mid-sized companies. Romney shows a profit of $14.00 in one account, and an apparent loss of $7.00 in another. Let’s now all gather at International ‘B’ and hop a plane for Dublin with a side trip to neighboring Luxembourg while we’re at it. Bain Capital operates an ‘office’ in Munsbach. The most recent population figures put the number of residents at 585. What’s with a tiny-town address to conduct major league investment action? There are other major equity houses in Munsbach as well. Itty-bitty village notwithstanding, Romney managed to produce $20,255 in dividend income from their cobblestone streets. There are at least 4 Luxembourg-originated accounts.
URSA funding is another Romney favorite in Luxembourg. URSA calls itself an ‘Administrative Assistance’ company.. They’ll help you out with your tax and wealth management structure. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. They’re located at 16 Avenue Pasteur, Luxembourg City along with 36 other mostly financially oriented firms. Luxembourg is pint-sized, very wealthy and secretive. Ideal Romney country. The return listed $6.00 in dividend income and $143.00 in capital gains from URSA. Really?
Now let’s pop over to Dublin. BNY (Bank of New York) Mellon of Ireland is Mitt’s firm of choice here. In case BNY seems familiar it might be for their New York bank’s role in working with UK’s Barclay’s bank to allegedly screw the U.S. out of a billion in investor tax dollars in what were characterized as abusive tax shelters. BNY Ireland wasn’t mentioned in the April Press Release, but it’s odd how the Romney name pops up as a client of the likes of UBS and BNY. A second BNY Ireland account shows about 500 dollars in profits for Romney. Really?
My favorite Romney Irish account is Barracuda Investments. You just know they’ll fight for you. I won’t even bother with the details of foreign currency transactions from the U.S. to Ireland or other potential conflicts of interest that abound.
We haven’t hit the Grand Cayman’s yet, so come aboard. Castle Garden Funding (Ann Romney Blind Trust) is an apparent subsidiary of Ogier SVCS LTD. Both do the Romney’s bidding in this far-flung paradise. There are 439 companies that call this tax haven home. In addition to the Caymans, Ogier, a ‘legal services’ law firm, has tax-avoidance encampments in numerous other ‘screw Uncle Sam’ destinations including Dublin and Luxembourg. While we’re in the vicinity, there’s also an Ann Romney Blind Trust foreign partnership in George Town (they split the name over there)..
Let’s not forget Centro Properties in Glen Waverly, Victoria mate. That’s a suburb of Melbourne. Centro specializes in shopping centers. The Romney’s 1995 Family Trust claimed a $2.00 loss on that one.
One more fund worth mentioning is the hedge fund/leveraged loans/distressed/stressed debt firm set up in 1997 in Bermuda called the Sankaty High Yield Asset fund, a credit affiliate of Bain Capital. It has $15.5 billion in assets. Even the guy who set it up describes it as nothing more than a ‘mail drop’. At Sankaty you can buy U.S. companies and pay no taxes.
Let’s close with the family sleaze I was telling you about. ThinkProgress did a great job nosing into the details. In 2008, Mitt gave son Tagg $10 million seed money from the Ann Romney trust to set up an equity company called Solamere Capital. The Boston Globe at the time uncovered a list of subsequent investors that had also been substantial donors to the Romney presidential nominee campaign. In total, Tagg and his two partners stand to make $16.8 million in management fees alone. Even old Mitt grabs $115,000 per annum as a company director. In all, 64 investors fed the fund nearly $244 million. How many of those were campaign donors and what kind of favors will they seek for that giant money?
Final question. If the seed money came from a “blind” trust, where the principals are to have no input or knowledge of what goes on, how did $10 million end up in the hands of Tagg Romney? Did Tagg just ask the trustee for the loot from mommy’s trove?
I’ve barely skimmed the surface. This guy is a PLAYUH!!! The oval office is the last place you’d want to find him.