Sen. Corker undervalued his wealth by millions

Sen. Corker undervalued his wealth by millions
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.) recently filed amendments to his personal financial disclosure reports that added millions of dollars to his net worth.

The senator on Friday amended forms dating back to his arrival to the Senate in 2007, identifying 83 individual changes.

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In a statement, Corker said the “filing errors” were an “oversight” that has now been corrected.

Corker ranks as the twenty-third richest member of Congress, per a tally by CQ Roll Call, with a minimum net worth of nearly $18 million.

The Wall Street Journal first noticed the new filings, which came about following an inquiry from the outlet regarding inconsistencies in Corker’s previous financial disclosures.

“I am extremely disappointed in the filing errors that were made in earlier financial disclosure reports,” he said in a statement. “After completing a full, third-party review, we have corrected this oversight.”

Corker hired a separate, accredited accounting firm to conduct a review of his personal financial forms, his office said, once it became aware that there had been errors on prior reports. 

“I have gone to great lengths, and in some cases beyond what is required by the reporting guidelines to ensure all of my filings are beyond reproach,” Corker wrote in a letter to the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate Ethics Committee, by hiring the third-party firm to conduct the audit.

In that letter, he refers to the entity that put together his other financial disclosures as his “former” accounting firm. 

Various errors are corrected throughout, and the Wall Street Journal calculated additional income of at least $3.8 million between 2007 and 2014 from Corker’s commercial real-estate holdings alone. 

In working with the Senate Ethics Committee to correct the forms, Corker says that he had under-reported his commercial real estate income by listing it as the investment income after expenses, rather than the Senate-required gross income before expenses are paid.

He had also misreported investments in and income from hedge funds, including a 2014 gain in Gerber/Taylor, a Tennessee fund, between $304,000 and $1.4 million.

The year before, the senator did not properly disclose an increase in value in TSW II, another hedge fund in his home state, of between $100,001 and $1 million. 

In 2012, he originally reported receiving $100,001 to $1 million in income from hedge fund Pointer (QP) LP, when he actually received a gain of $1.2 million in the hedge fund. 

He also over-valued income from at least one asset, such as a 2011 sale involving a real estate company that was reduced to being worth between $1 million and $5 million. 

The Journal’s calculations, it warns, are conservative because they used the lower end of the range with which lawmakers calculate their wealth and income. The forms are set up in broad ranges, so that a single asset could be worth anywhere between $1 million and $5 million, for example. 

While members frequently file amendments to their personal financial disclosures, Corker’s changes go beyond the tweaks employed by most.