Rangel Face New Discrepancies in Finances, Hires Forensic Accountant

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Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) just keeps finding himself in more and more and more of a mess as his accounting is unraveled — this time with the help of a forensic accounting expert that he’s hired to look into his finances.

From the AP:

The accountant’s report will not be reviewed by Rangel or his advisers before it is given to the committee “as quickly as possible,” Davis said. The lawmaker also promised that once the report is complete, he will publicly release his tax returns for the past 20 years.

. . . As more questions have been raised about Rangel’s records, his lawyers and accountants have uncovered new discrepancies in the personal financial disclosure documents that he files every year to Congress. Every lawmaker is required to file such paperwork disclosing major assets.

Among the new discrepancies:

  • Rangel’s papers over the past 10 years show no reference to the sale of a home he once owned on Colorado Avenue in Washington.
  • The details of a property bought in Sunny Isles, Fla., are bewildering at best. The stated value changes significantly from year to year, and even page to page, from $50,000 to $100,000 all the way up to $500,000.
  • Some of the entries for investment funds fluctuate strangely, suggesting that the person either didn’t have accurate information or didn’t fill out the paperwork correctly.

Rangel spent the past week trying to answer questions about his ethics and his finances.

He acknowledged that he owes the Internal Revenue Service about $5,000 in back taxes for unreported income from the rental of his vacation villa, and probably a smaller amount to state and city tax collectors.

Late update: Roll Call fleshes out the story behind Rangel’s condominium in Sunny Isles, FL. According to Florida land records and real estate listings, Rangel originally bought the home for $335,000 and sold it two years later for $405,000 — a profit of $70,000. Neither purchase price, sale price, or the profit made were correctly listed in Rangel’s financial disclosure forms.