Bloomberg drops estimate of Commerce secretary's wealth to $860M

Bloomberg drops estimate of Commerce secretary's wealth to $860M
© Greg Nash

Bloomberg has lowered its estimate of Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis Ross2020 census to run ads on 'Premio lo Nuestro' Can the US slap tariffs on auto imports? Not anymore On The Money: Slowing economy complicates 2020 message for Trump | Tech confronts growing impact of coronavirus | Manufacturing rises after five-month contraction MORE’s net worth to $860 million, down from $3 billion, following a report that Ross inflated his wealth to the media for years. 

Bloomberg could not independently verify figures Ross had provided in 2016. Previous calculations included historical compensation figures submitted by Ross before he joined President Trump’s Cabinet, but those figures have been removed, the publication said.

Forbes’s editors wrote earlier this month that Ross had overstated his wealth by about $2 billion to "bolster his standing" among the business community.


Ross was placed on the Forbes billionaire list in 2004 with a net worth listed at $1 billion. He tried to get Forbes to leave him on the list by telling the finance news outlet that he placed roughly $2 billion in trusts for his family during his nomination process for Trump’s Cabinet.

“After one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer. That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004,” editor Dan Alexander wrote.

A group of Senate Democrats is asking the inspector general of the Commerce Department to launch an investigation to determine Ross’s true net worth and see if he has complied with ethics requirements that he divest his assets.

Some of Ross's dealings were mentioned earlier this month in leaked documents known as the “Paradise Papers,” which showed he maintained shared business interests with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.