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Secretary Of Commerce Wilbur Ross Accused Of Grifting $120 Million

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Secretary Of Commerce Wilbur Ross Accused Of Grifting $120 Million

A Forbes story makes serious allegations against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, including that he skimmed more than $120 million from associates and investors throughout his career.

What Happened

Forbes refers to Ross as one of the “biggest grifters in American history” based on a pattern of lawsuits and accusations made against Ross over a 12-year period. Forbes documents a total of $123 million in legal claims made against Ross from 2005 to 2017, some of which have been dismissed and some of which have been settled outside of court. The story alleges that even if just half the claims against Ross are true, he would be one of the biggest serial grifters in the world.

Forbes spoke to 21 people who know and have worked with Ross, and said the Trump cabinet member has lied about his finances to Forbes on multiple occasions. Ross reportedly told the publication that the Security and Exchange Commission has “never initiated any enforcement action against me," despite the fact that his firm was fined $2.3 million by the SEC in 2016.

In addition, Ross reportedly lied about to Forbes about asset transfers to family members to mask a potential decline in his net worth on the publication’s annual billionaires list.

Why It’s Important

Ross has been one of the Washington centerpieces in President Trump’s international trade war. The commerce secretary is tasked with promoting and developing foreign and domestic commerce on behalf of the American public. The position supports U.S. businesses overseas, but Ross’ allegedly shady track record raises questions about his trustworthiness to operate in the best interest of the U.S.

What’s Next

In a statement, the Commerce Department called the accusations “petty nonsense.” Americans will be watching to see if the new report stirs up additional accusations about Ross and whether the revelations have any impact on Trump’s trade war.

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White House photo by Evan Walker. 

Posted-In: Forbes Wilbur RossGovernment News Politics Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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