Romney Denies Ties to Alleged Ponzi Scheme Outlined in Progressive Blog
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign is pushing back against a post the progressive blog ThinkProgress published today linking Romney, his son and his chief fundraiser to financiers accused of running a Ponzi scheme.
Romney invested $10 million in the financial partnership Solamere Capital launched in 2008 by his son Tagg and his chief fundraiser Spencer Zwick. ThinkProgress reports today that Solamere partnered with three brokers from Stanford Financial Group, whose owner Allen Stanford has been charged with fraud.
In an email to the Alley, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, "It's not surprising that a left-wing blog with a highly partisan agenda would publish false material as it relates to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney has no ties to the Stanford Financial Group or any of its activities."
And indeed, the ThinkProgress story does not directly tie Romney to the Stanford Group, but it does quote Tagg Romney explaining the connection:
UPDATE: In an email statement sent to the Alley, Solamere Advisors disputed part of ThinkProgress' claim that the three former Stanford brokers were named in a lawsuit relating to the Ponzi scheme charges:
In an interview with ThinkProgress after the CNN debate in Las Vegas, Tagg said he was proud of his investment with Solamere Advisors, the wealth management firm now run by Stanford's former executives. "They're friends of ours, they use the [Solamere] name, we own a piece of them," he said. "We helped them get started." Romney's son said he owns a minority stake in Solamere Advisors, but noted that they operate with some level of independence. "We don't control them at all, we just own them," he explained. ...
Did you know that some of those guys were in with, there were allegations that some of those guys were involved with the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme?" ThinkProgress asked. "Before we invested in them, they were in that. But they were cleared of that before we made our investment," replied Tagg, who spoke to ThinkProgress for a few minutes while walking around the Venetian hotel after the debate. ...
Tagg's assertions, that his Solamere Advisors partners who were employed in the Stanford Ponzi scheme didn't make "any money," and that they their involvement in the Ponzi scheme has been "cleared," contrasts with court documents obtained by ThinkProgress.
Lee Fang falsely states in his blog that Mr. May and Mr. Phillips, current employees of Solamere Advisors, were named in a lawsuit for "incentive pay selling fraudulent CDs to investors". The suit against Mr. May and Mr. Phillips is not for CD commissions but rather seeks recovery of a bonus payment in the form of a forgivable loan for moving their business to the firm (a standard industry practice). These employees had absolutely no knowledge of the fraud and were victims along with many other financial professionals and investors throughout the country. Mr. Bambauer is no longer an employee of Solamere Advisors. All questions relating to Mr. Bambauer should be addressed to him directly.