The situation raises additional questions about the intended firewall Gov. Rick Scott said he set up to shield his official actions from any personal financial gain. | AP Photo
Scott’s blind trust mirrors hundreds of investments also held by wife
By MATT DIXON and ALEXANDRA GLORIOSO
09/13/2018 05:00 AM EDT
Updated 09/13/2018 11:40 AM EDT
The federal disclosure forms for the first time showed the up to $200 million in family investments in Ann’s name, and showed the extent to which Rick Scott was not reporting his family’s overall net worth as governor. As required, Scott only reported investments in his name to Florida. This year, his holdings amounted to $233 million, of which $215 million was the blind trust.
The federal disclosure forms show that Scott and his wife are worth between $248 million and $480 million. The higher figure, however, could potentially be much higher than that, since the federal disclosure form only requires reporting of the first $1 million of each investment “over $1 million and held independently by spouse or dependent child.” For example, if a stock holding was worth $3 million and held in Ann’s name, Scott would only have to report $1 million of that on his disclosure form.
In general, federal disclosure forms require reporting just a range of an asset’s value, not exact numbers.
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s blind trust, set up by the multi-millionaire to avoid perceived conflicts of interest, includes tens of millions of dollars in investments in the exact same companies as his wife, Ann.
The holdings give the appearance of what one ethics attorney calls a “common investment strategy” that could undercut the intended independence of Scott’s trust, a POLITICO analysis of financial disclosure reports filed as part of Scott’s Senate campaign shows.
Both the first lady’s investments and Scott’s blind trust holdings were revealed as part of federal financial disclosure forms filed in July. The overlap in their investments has not been previously reported. It’s clear from reviewing the holdings that actions Scott has taken during his nearly eight years as governor have affected companies in which Ann Scott holds an interest — which he could
review as governor — and those held in the blind trust, in which a number of investments mirror those held by his wife.