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Is Romney involved in a Ponzi scheme?

Carol 2011/11/02 16:09:54
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Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme

Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary.

In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

The Ponzi Scheme

In 2009, prosecutors announced charges against the Stanford Financial Group, which managed a portfolio of $8.5 billion, for running a “massive, ongoing fraud” against its investors. The Ponzi scheme bust was one of the largest in recent history, second only to Bernie Madoff, who perpetrated a fraud estimated to be around $17 billion. The Stanford Ponzi scheme wiped out the savings of thousands, including many Americanretirees across the country. In Texas, 1290 people lost their retirement savings because of the Stanford Ponzi scheme; in Louisiana, several hundred reportedlysuffered the same fate.

The Romney Business Connection

Solamere Capital, the investment company founded by Tagg Romney with seed money from his father, Mitt Romney and other investors.

Launched in 2008 by Romney’s son Tagg and a few others, including Mitt Romney’s chief fundraiser Spencer Zwick, Solamere Capital is a “fund of funds,” meaning that it primarily invests in other investment companies, like private equity groups.

Mitt Romney himself made a $10 million initial seed investment in Solamere Capital and his personal financial disclosure forms reveal that he has received between $100,000 and $1 million in returns from his stake in Solamere. Romney has come under fire forrefusing to release his tax returns, which would likely reveal additional details about his financial relationship with Solamere Capital.

After news of the Ponzi scheme precipitated the collapse of Stanford in 2009, Taggpartnered with several of Stanford’s North Carolina executives to start a firm called Solamere Advisors. At least three prominent brokers who had worked for Stanford — Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips — joined Tagg to help run Solamere Advisors, a wealth management business located in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We are excited to be associated with such a highly capable group of financial advisors with a proven track record of meeting the needs of their clients throughout the Southeast,” said Tagg in a press release announcing Solamere Advisors, which borrows its the name from its parent company, Solamere Capital.

The Romney Campaign Connection

The Romney campaign and the Romney family investment company are deeply entwined. A recent Boston Globe investigation found that top donors to the Romney campaign have invested into Tagg’s firm, and that Romney’s star campaign fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, doubles as a managing partner for Solamere Capital. The Romney campaign has paid Zwick’s firm, SJZ LLC, over $2 million in fees this year alone. Mitt Romney’s brother Scott Romney is listed as a senior advisor to Solamere Capital.

By Lee Fang | Sourced from ThinkProgress

Posted at November 1, 2011, 8:03 am


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  • Laurie 2011/12/30 08:47:29
    Yes
    Laurie
    +1
    Ron Paul for president! I am tired of flip-flopping fraudsters!
  • Golanv (Raven) 2011/11/04 02:40:50
    Yes
    Golanv (Raven)
    +1
    It sure looks that way... What a circus! Where's that tax return, Mitt? lol. I'm just kicking back enjoying the show. They're going down like dominos.
    circus tax return mitt lol kicking enjoying dominos
  • #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT... 2011/11/03 16:55:45
    Yes
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    +5
    It certainly appears that way to me. I find it quite hypocritical that Republicans call Social Security a ponzi scheme yet they have no problem being engaged in their own versions of ponzi schemes. I guess it depends on who the "beneficiaries" of these so-called schemes are. If it enriches them then they're all for it. If it benefits every day Americans--it's horrible (in their book). Sorry, you can't have it both ways.

    When I was a young person & I didn't have a problem helping to support my mother/her generation via my FICA taxes. Call it "paying it forward" if you like. My Christian faith lets me know it's the biblical tradition of "loving my neighbor." Jesus paid taxes & helped his disciples pay their's also.
  • Carol #Justic... 2011/11/03 20:30:20
    Carol
    +3
    Thank you for a thoughtful answer.
  • Not Einstein 2011/11/03 04:43:36
    Yes
    Not Einstein
    +5
    Oh oh. Sounds like the "Mitt" hit the fan.
  • Carol Not Ein... 2011/11/03 14:58:58
    Carol
    +4
    Wonder why you don't hear this on the so called liberal media.
  • Colbert 2011/11/03 03:13:47
    Yes
    Colbert
    +5
    How else does someone gain 100s of millions of dollars? Hard work? LOL
  • Carol Colbert 2011/11/03 14:59:34
    Carol
    +5
    Keeping it in the family.
  • luvguins 2011/11/02 19:53:02
    Undecided
    luvguins
    +4
    Would not put anything past the Ken doll, Mittster. Everytime he has been involved with companies people have lost jobs. If he is the nominee he will have to provide his tax return which should prove interesting.
  • Carol luvguins 2011/11/02 19:54:19
    Carol
    +2
    Very interesting : )
  • BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0 2011/11/02 18:59:45
    Yes
    BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0
    +7
    Tagg, Track, Trig, Jeb...what is wrong with these people? Can't they come up with a name that doesn't sound like a new running shoe model?
  • Carol Blunder... 2011/11/02 19:50:10 (edited)
    Carol
    +3
    I don't think so.
  • Blunder... Carol 2011/11/02 20:54:04
    BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0
    +6
    Sheesh. And they all complain because a celebrity named her daughter Apple...at least apple is a friggin' word! Lol.
  • #Justic... Blunder... 2011/11/03 16:44:22
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    +5
    And apples are good for you lol.
  • Blunder... #Justic... 2011/11/03 19:39:01
    BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0
    +5
    But when you offer conservatives an apple, they accuse you of trying to tell them what kind of snacks they should be feeding their kids! Lol!
  • #Justic... Blunder... 2011/11/03 23:36:08
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    +3
    I forgot how much of a hissy fit they get over things us sane folk don't give a 2nd thought to. The day I shove an apple down their (or their kids) throats is the day they should be worrying about what I "making them eat!"
  • luvguins Blunder... 2011/11/02 20:10:27
  • Blunder... luvguins 2011/11/02 20:55:55
    BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0
    +4
    Thanks!
  • #Justic... Blunder... 2011/11/03 16:43:50
    #Justice4Trayvon 629 BLOCKT CONS
    +4
    About the only one they haven't come out with is "Trick" is cuz it'd sound too much like what "ladies of the night" engage in. They don't seem to have a problem "tricking" their investment clients though. Looks to me like they're the pimps of the financial scheme world.
  • Guru_T_... #Justic... 2011/11/03 18:27:12
    Guru_T_Firefly
    +5
    Kinda explains why they'd back the 1% over the 99%, doesn't it?
  • Blunder... #Justic... 2011/11/03 19:40:01 (edited)
    BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0
    +4
    Besides, "Trick" would be honest and we all know that would never happen!
  • Carol Blunder... 2011/11/03 20:31:26
    Carol
    +3
    Exactly
  • The Thinking Woman 2011/11/02 18:42:32
    Yes
    The Thinking Woman
    +7
    The repubs are getting knocked off one at a time. Soon they will not have a candidate at all. YEAH!
  • luvguins The Thi... 2011/11/02 21:01:13 (edited)
    luvguins
    +6
    As Obama said on Leno, he will wait for them to get voted off the island. They are going fast before even the primaries.
  • The Thi... luvguins 2011/11/03 00:12:11
    The Thinking Woman
    +6
    So true, luvguins, it will be interesting which loser will be left with the nomination. By the time the primaries happen, there will probably only be one or two left standing.... then again maybe none will be left.
  • ProudProgressive 2011/11/02 17:02:17
    Undecided
    ProudProgressive
    +8
    Doesn't look too good for Willard right now.

    dddddd
  • Rocky 2011/11/02 16:11:59
    Yes
    Rocky
    +4
    And of course Mitt Romney knows nothing of what his son has been doing?
  • Carol Rocky 2011/11/02 16:15:31
  • luvguins Carol 2011/11/02 20:08:49
    luvguins
    +4
    I would think if one invested 10 million like Mitt one would know and find out all about the managers. Tagg's assertions, that his Solamere Advisors partners who were employed in the Stanford Ponzi scheme didn't make "any money," and that they their involvement in the Ponzi scheme has been "cleared," contrasts with court documents obtained by ThinkProgress.
  • Carol luvguins 2011/11/02 20:21:09
    Carol
    +3
    Yes, yes they do.

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