Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for a federal investigation into former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for filing an inaccurate personal financial disclosure form (PFD) with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). The documents, which showcase Mitt and Ann Romney’s vast wealth, omit at least 23 investments, 11 of which are held in foreign countries known to be offshore tax havens. CREW asked OGE, which has no enforcement authority, to refer the matter to the Department of Justice. Click here to read CREW’s letter to the OGE.
“Mr. Romney says the errors are minor, but then again he also claims earning $374,000 in speaking fees isn’t much money,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “In reality, filing an inaccurate disclosure form can be a criminal offense. As a result, the Office of Government Ethics should forward the matter on to the Department of Justice to determine whether Mr. Romney deliberately withheld information.”
The 2010 tax return Mr. Romney released earlier this week includes numerous assets not included on the PFD he filed with the OGE in August 2011. First reported in the Los Angeles Times, the tax return shows the Ann D. Romney Blind Trust had reported $1,783 in interest income from a UBS bank account in Switzerland that was not included on the PFD. Similarly, the trust also reported income from shares in offshore companies including Barracuda Investments Ltd. in Ireland, Castle Garden Funding in the Cayman Islands and Sankaty High Yield Assets Investors Ltd. in Bermuda, none of which was included on the PFD. CREW also found the PFD failed to include any assets in the Ann and Mitt Romney 1995 Family Trust and that both that trust and the Ann D. Romney Blind Trust held assets in the Goldman Sachs US$ Liquid Reserves Fund, which was not disclosed on the PFD.
“While Mr. Romney has urged Mr. Gingrich to release his ethics record, he has been reluctant to release his tax returns. Perhaps this was because he knew the 2010 return wouldn’t match up with the disclosure form,” said Ms. Sloan. “If ethics and transparency are good for the goose, they are good for the gander.”