Scott re­leases his fi­nan­cial data

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Front Page - By News Ser­vice of Florida

The gover­nor’s dis­clo­sure form, as can­di­date for U.S. Se­nate, show hun­dreds of in­vest­ments con­trolled by his wife. He has $215 mil­lion in a blind trust.

TAL­LA­HAS­SEE — Rick Scott, the wealth­i­est gover­nor in Florida his­tory, filed a fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sure Fri­day as part of his cam­paign for the U.S. Se­nate that re­vealed new de­tails on his elab­o­rate fi­nances, in­clud­ing hun­dreds of in­vest­ments con­trolled by his wife.

Last month, Scott, who is chal­leng­ing U.S. Sen. Bill Nel­son, filed his an­nual state dis­clo­sure that showed a De­cem­ber 2017 net worth of $232 mil­lion. But the de­tails were scant, in­clud­ing the shielded in­vest­ments in a $215 mil­lion blind trust, which rose by more than $80 mil­lion from the pre­vi­ous year and pro­duced $120 mil­lion in in­come.

Scott said he had placed his fi­nances in a blind trust, which is al­lowed un­der state law, to dis­tance any of his de­ci­sions as gover­nor from per­sonal in­vest­ments. De­tails of the blind trust do not have to be re­ported un­der state law.

But the lack of de­tails changed Fri­day when Scott filed a new dis­clo­sure un­der fed­eral law as a Se­nate can­di­date. It re­quired much more de­tail, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion about all the as­sets held in the blind trust, as well as the as­sets held by the gover­nor’s wife, Ann Scott.

Scott’s cam­paign said his wife’s as­sets were not pre­vi­ously re­ported be­cause it was not re­quired un­der state law.

“First Lady Ann Scott is not an elected of­fi­cial,” the cam­paign said. “The full in­vest­ments are be­ing re­leased to­day to com­ply with all rules and re­quire­ments for run­ning for fed­eral of­fice.”

The fed­eral dis­clo­sure records show de­tails of more than 550 items in­cluded in three trust funds and a fam­ily part­ner­ship con­trolled by Ann Scott.

The records showed in­vest­ments in com­pa­nies such as tech gi­ants Al­pha­bet — Google’s par­ent — and Mi­crosoft Corp., each of which gen­er­ated up to $2 mil­lion in div­i­dends or cap­i­tal gains last year. Rick Scott’s trust also earned up to the same amount af­ter

sell­ing off his Mi­crosoft shares, the records show.

Ann Scott also has in­vest­ments in at least 10 hedge funds, in­clud­ing Hong Kong-based Over­look Part­ners, which earned her up to $1 mil­lion last year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The fed­eral dis­clo­sure showed Scott and his wife own more than $350,000 in stock of Nex­tEra En­ergy Part­ners, which is an arm of Juno Beach-based Nex­tEra En­ergy. Florida Power & Light Co., the state’s largest elec­tric util­ity, also is part of Nex­tEra En­ergy. Scott ap­points all the mem­bers of the state Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, which de­cides rate cases and other is­sues for util­i­ties.

An is­sue ad­dressed Fri­day by Scott’s cam­paign was the $825 mil­lion sale in 2017 to a Ja­panese com­pany of a Michi­gan-based plas­tic­scom­po­nents firm in which the Scott fam­ily had a ma­jor own­er­ship in­ter­est. Scott’s state dis­clo­sure pro­vided no de­tails on that trans­ac­tion.

Scott’s cam­paign said the gover­nor, un­der the blind trust ar­range­ment, was “not aware of the sale and had no role in the sale.”

Scott’s state fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sures and the use of the blind trust are part of a law­suit pend­ing at the 1st Dis­trict Court of Ap­peal in Tal­la­has­see.


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