Rangel Underreported Assets in 2007 Financial Disclosure Form

Posted August 25, 2009 at 5:27pm

House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) has filed an amended financial disclosure form for 2007 showing he initially failed to disclose more than $600,000 in assets as well as tens of thousands of dollars in income.The 2007 form initially failed to report items including a Congressional Federal Credit Union checking account worth at least $250,001 and an investment fund account also worth at least $250,001, along with several smaller assets, according to an amended report dated Aug. 12 of this year.Rangel’s original report disclosed assets of $516,000 to $1,316,000, but his revised report showed assets of $1.028 million to $2.495 million.Congressional rules allow Members to report the value of each asset within broad ranges.The totals rose even though Rangel in the revised report sliced the value of his Punta Cana Villa in the Dominican Republic from the $250,001-$500,000 range to the $100,000-$250,000 range.Rangel also originally misreported that his investments in 2007 netted him $6,511 to $17,950 in dividends, capital gains and rental income. In his revised filing, that range jumped to between $29,220 and $81,200.Initially unreported investments include at least $1,001 in Yum Brands, $15,001 in PepsiCo, and at least $250,001 in a fund called ML Allianz Global Investors Consults Diversified Port III.He also first reported no rental income from his beach villa. On the revised report, he indicated he earned at least $5,001 and as much as $15,000 in rent from the property.Rangel is facing multiple investigations by the House ethics committee, and he has reported spending more than $900,000 in campaign funds defending himself since July 2008.The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct’s main investigation targets four allegations, including Rangel’s lease of multiple rent-controlled apartments in Harlem and his use of a House parking spot for long-term vehicle storage.In addition, the probe includes Rangel’s ownership of a villa in the Dominican Republic and his failure to report rental income on that property or pay taxes on that income. Rangel has defended his actions but has since paid those taxes.In December, the ethics committee announced it would expand the investigation to include an alleged quid pro quo trading legislative action in exchange for donations to a center named for Rangel at the City College of New York. Rangel has denied the charge.Two months ago, Rangel was also named along with four other Members of the Congressional Black Caucus in a separate ethics investigation into whether trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008 sponsored by the Carib News Foundation violated gift rules.In addition to the unreported assets, Rangel’s revised 2007 form also includes previously undisclosed purchases of a variety of mutual funds and a $5,509 distribution from Rangel’s Congressional Federal Credit Union IRA account. Rangel also has filed a months-overdue form for 2008. The range of Rangel’s net worth in 2008 dipped to between $834,000 and $2.01 million, according to the new report.Rangel’s revised report was first reported Tuesday by Congressional Quarterly.Tory Newmyer contributed to this report.