First in Vanity Fair by Nicholas Shaxson and now today via AP staff reporters, journos are digging into Mitt’s most secret offshore investment, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., registered in Bermuda. From the AP, we now know at a minimum that he failed to report Sankaty in required filings when he held office in Massaschusetts, and that he may still be making money from it. Romney’s finances are held in many opaque vehicles.
Sankaty was transferred to a trust owned by Romney’s wife, Ann, one day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor in 2003, according to Bermuda records obtained by The Associated Press. The Romneys’ ownership of the offshore firm did not appear on any state or federal financial reports during Romney’s two presidential campaigns. Only the Romneys’ 2010 tax records, released under political pressure earlier this year, confirmed their continuing control of the company. . . .
Romney’s 2010 tax returns show him and his wife as sole owners of Sankaty. . . .
The candidate’s 2010 tax returns listed at least 20 investment holdings besides Sankaty that had not been previously disclosed on federal reports. At least seven were foreign investments. Bain Capital Inc., the holding that posted the $1.9 million earning, was listed on Romney’s state ethics reports in 2001 and 2002, when he ran for governor, but was missing from any annual ethics report until Romney’s trust included it last month on his 2012 financial statement. Sankaty is the only offshore holding in the Romneys’ portfolio under their full control. On his 2010 taxes, Romney’s blind trust filed an IRS form identifying Sankaty as a “controlled foreign corporation.” That filing is required for any U.S. taxpayer who owns more than 50% of a foreign company. Romney’s 2010 tax returns indicate that he and his wife control all 12,000 shares. Several U.S. Securities and Exchange documents from the late 1990s and 2000s depicted Romney as Sankaty’s owner at the time, but when he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2001 and 2002, Romney did not list the company on annual disclosure forms required by the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. The ethics commission would not comment on the omissions. Boston College law professor R. Michael Cassidy, who was a member of the commission at the time, said that if Romney “owned this business before he signed his ethics disclosure, then he was obliged to report it.”