Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is now being labeled “King of Grifters” for allegedly swindling his business partners out of more than $120 million in a swathe of shady business deals extending back over a dozen years.
A grifter is a person who cheats others out of their money. They’re also known as chiselers, gougers, scammers and swindlers.
In an explosive report, Forbes magazine claims Ross began his career as a grifter in 2005 when the former vice chairman of the he owned, WL Ross & Company, filed a $20 million lawsuit against Ross. This man alleged Ross tried to cut him out of his share of the company’s revenues.
Ross’ most recent misdeed chronicled by Forbes occurred in November 2017 when three former WL Ross executives sued Ross and his firm, accusing them of charging $48 million in improper fees. In between these years is a sordid record of grifting, which also revealed Ross is a cheapskate obsessed with money.
In reaching this conclusion, Forbes interviewed 21 former colleagues of Ross. Many of these people said Ross has a propensity to steal money. Forbes estimated that if all the allegations against Ross are true, Ross had cheated his business associates out of 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,” said Dan Alexander, the Forbes writer who broke the story.
Alexander’s interest in Ross began with the commerce secretary’s attempts to mislead Forbes, and to get himself ranked higher on the publication’s list of billionaires. In February 2017, Forbes reported Ross had a net worth of $2.5 billion.
Financial disclosure forms Ross filed after his nomination for Secretary of Commerce, however, revealed Ross had less than $700 million in assets. Forbes consequently removed Ross from their billionaires list in November 2017.
Before he was appointed Commerce secretary, Ross was a banker known for restructuring failed companies in various industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications and textile. Ross specializes in leveraged buyouts and foreclosing distressed businesses.
Ross earned the epithet “King of Bankruptcy” because of his record of buying bankrupt companies, and later selling them for huge profits after operations improved.
The Department of Commerce blasted the Forbes story, saying it was “based on false rumors, innuendo, and unverifiable claims.”
“The anonymously sourced Forbes story is based on false rumors, innuendo, and unverifiable claims … The baseless claims made in this story were well publicized long ago and are not news.”
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate