Wilbur Ross sued by former colleagues
© Greg Nash

Three former colleagues of Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossRoss in Trump's crosshairs after census loss: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke This week: House Dems voting to hold Barr, Ross in contempt MORE are suing him and his former company for allegedly pocketing millions in improper fees he had charged to clients, Forbes reports. 

The former WL Ross & Co. employees allege in the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, that Ross charged at least $48 million in management fees and funds to partners who manage investment funds. Those suing claim the charges should have been made to outside investors, not those in charge of managing funds. 

Spokespeople for the Department of Commerce and the company did not respond for comment to Forbes on the story.

The company previously paid a $2.3 million settlement to the Securities and Exchange Commission over a probe into its charging of fees and investment practices. 

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David Storper, at one time the company's second-in-command, is currently involved in litigation against Ross for allegedly stealing his stake in the company after he left. Storper is suing alongside David Wax and Pamela Wilson, two former longtime employees who worked closely with Ross.

The latest lawsuit comes one day after a group of Senate Democrats wrote a letter asking the Commerce Department's inspector general to open an investigation into Mr. Ross's compliance with the department's ethics guidelines and whether he properly divested his business interests before taking office. 

The request asks the inspector general to obtain an accurate figure of Ross's wealth and whether he had misrepresented financial assets, after reports of discrepancies in his reports on his personal wealth and business ties to top Kremlin officials in Russia. 

The lawsuits come after the business news magazine reported that Ross lied about his worth by "more than $2 billion" for more than a decade in order to be placed on the Forbes 400 and to "bolster his standing" among the business community in a way that created opportunities for himself.