Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bloomberg -- Scaramucci Seeks Federal Tax Break on SkyBridge Sale

The new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci earned close to $10 million from ownership stake and salary in SkyBridge -- an investment firm specializing in hedge funds products -- between January 1, 2016, and the end of June, according to his financial disclosure filed with the Office of Government Ethics. He listed assets worth as much as $85 million.

Scaramucci sold SkyBridge to a Chinese conglomerate -- HNA Group -- in preparation for his move to the White House, but it is undergoing regulatory review.

Scaramucci also has several real estate investments, a minority stake in the New York Mets, and is an investor in Juice Press, a chain of snack and smoothie shops in the Northeast.

When Anthony Scaramucci took command, he told reporters he wanted an opportunity to serve the country.

Turns out he also wants a multi-million dollar tax break.

Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier turned Trump loyalist, sold his hedge fund Skybridge Capital in January for a reported $180 million. Confident he would soon have a job in the Trump administration, Scaramucci expected he would be able to avoid taxes on the sale under a loophole for executive-branch appointees.

When that expected job didn't pan out, Scaramucci was on the hook for a multi-million dollar tax bill.

So he was more than happy to take Trump's offer. But he faces two problems:

(1) Some tax experts think it's now too late to claim it.

(2) The sale is also under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment, which vets these kinds of financial transactions for national security risks. Scaramucci's buyers include a Chinese investment conglomerate. Just days before the inauguration, he solicited buyers by touting a future position in the White House.

Say what you will about Sean Spicer. At least he didn't try to profit off his position. Now we have a communications director who could get a giant tax break off his public position.

By Bill Allison  and Simone Foxman