New Expose Reflects The Total Contempt That Even Conservatives Have For Labor Secretary Wilbur Ross

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“Two former Wilbur Ross colleagues remember the Commerce Secretary taking handfuls of Sweet’N Low packets from a nearby restaurant, so he didn’t have to go out and buy some for himself.”~ Forbes

Forbes published a revealing article this week discussing emerging details regarding Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ “pattern of grifting.”



Forbes began their article with some background regarding the recent confidential settlement of a 3-year multi-million dollar lawsuit:

[The case pitted] a private equity manager named David Storper against his former boss: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The pair worked side by side for more than a decade, eventually at the firm, WL Ross & Co.—where, Storper later alleged, Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork. Two weeks ago, just before the start of a trial with $4 million on the line, Ross and Storper agreed to a confidential settlement…

Continuing, Forbes related that although “It is difficult to imagine the possibility that a man like Ross, who Forbes estimates is worth some $700 million, might steal a few million from one of his business partners,” that reality becomes all too real once “you have heard enough stories about Ross.”

For example: “Two former WL Ross colleagues remember the commerce secretary taking handfuls of Sweet’N Low packets from a nearby restaurant, so he didn’t have to go out and buy some for himself.”

Continuing, Forbes reported on the nature and scope of their investigation into Ross:

Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history. [emphasis added]



Below is a sampling of four highlights regarding Ross’ behaviors from the article:

  • “‘The SEC has never initiated any enforcement action against me,’ Ross said in a statement, failing to mention the $2.3 million fine it levied against his firm in 2016.”
  • “The commerce secretary also noted that one lawsuit against him got dismissed, without saying it is currently going through the appeals process.”
  • “Ross confirmed settling two other cases, including the recent one against Storper, but declined to offer additional details.”
  • “Those who’ve done business with Ross generally tell a consistent story, of a man obsessed with money and untethered to facts. ‘He’ll push the edge of truthfulness and use whatever power he has to grab assets,’ says New York financier Asher Edelman. One of Ross’ former colleagues is more direct: ‘He’s a pathological liar.’

Continuing, Forbes reported that the scope of Ross’ alleged corruption makes Scott Pruitt’s problems seem like child’s play by comparison:

In a presidential cabinet plagued by ethical problems, it can be easy to forget about Wilbur Ross. Most of the attention tends to center around obvious abuses, like Scott Pruitt getting a $43,000 sound-proof booth in his office or Tom Price wasting $341,000 on jet travel. But while Ross’ antics are more complicated, they involve far more money. [emphasis original]

Forbes also reported that Ross’ actions have not escaped the notice of government officials:

  • “A top official in the federal Office of Government Ethics scolded Ross in a letter last month, saying that his failure to divest corroded public trust.”
  • “In June, two senators and a congressman asked the Securities & Exchange Commission to launch an insider trading investigation of Ross.”
  • “Fourteen Democratic Congressmen have also called on the inspector general to investigate Ross’ potential conflicts of interest.”

Forbes concluded their article with the following:

The central matter in all of Ross’ legal issues is his own credibility. “Lying on an ethics disclosure form, to Congressional and Senate committees, and falsely reporting compliance with an ethics plan, is neither ‘commonplace’ nor part of the accepted rough-and-tumble world of politics,” David Storper, Ross’ former right-hand man, argued in a court filing. “They are just lies.” Adds another onetime colleague: “This is a public servant who can’t tell the truth.”

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Samuel Warde

Samuel is a writer, social and political activist, and all-around troublemaker.
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