Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rangel Failed to Disclose More Income and Assets, Forms Show

Representative Charles B. Rangel failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets on his financial disclosure forms for 2002 through 2006, including tens of thousands of dollars in rental income from a Harlem brownstone he sold in 2004, according to records filed this month with the clerk of the House of Representatives. Mr. Rangel, who is facing investigations by two House subcommittees into his personal finances and fund-raising, filed amended financial disclosure forms on Aug. 12 acknowledging that he had omitted an array of assets, business transactions and sources of income. They include a Merrill Lynch Global account valued between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds; and $30,000 to $100,000 in rent from a multifamily brownstone building he owned on West 132nd Street.

The forms require members of Congress to indicate a broad range for an asset’s worth rather than a specific amount, so the exact ic amount, so the exact ic amount, so the exact value of the unreported assets could not be determined.

The latest filings come on top of an amendment to Mr. Rangel’s 2007 disclosure form reported this week showing that he had failed to list at least $500,000 in assets. A spokesman for Mr. Rangel, a Democrat who has represented Harlem since 1971, issued a written sta71, issued a written statement saying the errors were inadvertent.

Mr. Rangel declined to discuss the latest revelations about his finances, which were reported on Friday by The New York Post.

Republicans said Friday that Mr. Rangel’s lapses in fully disclosing his finances were part of a long list of transgressions and renewed a demand that he be replace demand that he be replaced as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax code and is involved in shaping major policy, from the financial bailout to the health care plan.

“The ball is in Speaker Pelosi’s court,” said Bill Steel, a spokesman for the House minority leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio. Referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, he added, “How much longer will she allow Representative Rangel to keep such a powerful and influential position, given the staggering array of ethical allegations he faces?”

Republicans also pressed Mr. Rangel to prove that he paid taxes on the previously unreported rental income. Last year, Mr. Rangel acknowledged that he owed more than $10,000 in back taxes because he had failed to report more than $70,000 in rental income from a villa in the Dominican Republic. “Obviously we need a full accounting of assets, the income on them and the tax implications,” Mr. Steel said.

One subcommittee investigation started a year ago after The New York Times reported that Mr. Rangel rented four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem for thousands of dollars per month below market value, despite a rule forbidding members to accept gifts worth more than $50. The panel has expanded its inquiry to include the unreported income and unpaid taxes from his home in the Dominican Republic and questions about whether he improperly used his office to raise money for a charity — the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service — from donors with business before his panel.

Another subcommittee is investigating whether Mr. Rangel and four other members of Congress violated restrictions on accepting travel from donors who employ lobbyists when they attended a conference last November in the Caribbean. The trip was partly sponsored by Citigroup, which received billions in federal bailout money.


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