One of the biggest perks about being a U.S. Congressmen is the ability to avoid prosecution for financial laws that would otherwise put most Americans in prison for years. From exemptions to insider trading laws to the creating of ‘charitable’ trusts in which they can use to receive bribes, donations, and other monies in a pay to play environment, it is nearly impossible to indict government legislators since they rarely allow federal authorities to investigate or even bring charges against themselves.
And on Dec. 13 another Congressmen who skirted federal financial disclosure laws is being added to the long list of transgressors as Tennessee Senator Bob Corker filed amendments to his financial reports for monies and assets not previously disclosed going back as far as 2007. These newly filed amendments cite holdings placed in hedge funds that were not reported on his legally bound Congressional account, along with real estate holdings that were later sold for several million dollars over a seven year period.
The new forms show that Mr. Corker had failed to properly disclose at least $2 million in income from investments in three small hedge funds based in his home state.
His report for 2014 didn’t include a gain of between $304,000 and $1.4 million in hedge fund Gerber/Taylor.
In 2013, he failed to disclose a gain of between $100,001 and $1 million in hedge fund TSW II. And in 2012, he made a gain of $1.2 million in Pointer (QP) LP, though his previous statement reported income of $100,001 to $1 million from the hedge fund.
The amendments also show that he failed to disclose a 2014 investment in Gerber/Taylor of between $500,001 and $1 million and a 2013 investment in Pointer of between $1 million and $5 million.
The senator also underreported rental income from his commercial real-estate investments in Corker Properties, a company he founded years before being elected to the Senate.
As a result of the accounting error, Mr. Corker’s new forms show additional income of at least $3.8 million between 2007 and 2014 from his commercial real-estate holdings. – Wall Street Journal
Senator Corker joins the growing list of current and former Congressmen who have either been protected by House and Senate procedures regarding their wrongdoings, or were able to fix their illegal ‘activities’ prior to any potential prosecution that nearly all other Americans would never be afforded the chance to correct. From The Clinton Foundation’s donations that helped shape arms sales and foreign policies while Hillary was Secretary of State (she was a former Senator from New York), to Harlem representative Charlie Rangel who was censured by the House for tax fraud, there are very few in Congress who have not used their privilege of office to enrich themselves through means not open to the public.
Ironically, some of the highest gains made by members of Congress came when the rest of America was losing their wealth thanks to the massive decline in the stock market, and the Great Recession that followed the 2008 credit crisis. And it appears now that Senator Corker falls into the same category with officials like Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell, who each grew their wealth by 62% and 29% at a time when the average American lost 23% over the past six years.