WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, an avowed enemy of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders seeking to end the Obama administration Net Worth Sweep, has built a personal fortune of approximately $50 million since being elected to the Senate in 2006.
But Corker has been anything but forthcoming in accurately disclosing the true amount of his wealth, or making it clear to the public the methods he used to accumulate it.
Consider the many different estimates of Corker’s wealth in the public record since he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
- In 2006, after winning his first election for the Senate, Forbes reported Corker “boasts an estimated $64 million to $236 million fortune, according to the financial disclosure he filed to the Senate.”
- Then, on Dec. 14, 2014, the Hill reported that Corker, after filing 83 amendments to his financial disclosure reports dating back to his arrival to the Senate in 2007, reported his net worth at only $18 million.
- In 2014, OpenSecrets.org listed the “average estimate” of Corker’s net worth at $45.8 million, with the minimum net worth estimate at $13.9 million, and the maximum net worth estimate at $76.9 million.
- On Aug. 25, 2014, the Tennessean reported Corker held assets in 2013 worth between $19.02 million and $89.7 million, based on a Senate financial disclosure form filed that month, compared with the $18.67 million to $91.55 million disclosed on his 2012 form.
The truth is that Corker is one of the wealthiest members of the House of Representatives, although he has always been evasive about just how rich he truly may be.
But even as he was being considered in May 2016 to be tapped as Donald Trump’s vice presidential candidate, Corker was dogged by continuing FBI and SEC investigations into his finances, as well as a history of having to refile his Congressional financial disclosure forms after admitting he had failed to list dozens of business dealings and hundreds of stock trades, resulting in millions of dollars in previously unreported or under-reported income.
“Federal investigators are looking into possible financial irregularities involving CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based real estate investment trusts that owns or manages dozens of shopping centers and malls across the country,” Politico reported on May 31, 2016.
“Corker has bought and sold millions of dollars in CBL stock since he was elected to the Senate in 2006, but failed to disclose several of those disclosures,” Politico continued. “Now Corker finds himself ensnared in a federal probe.”
A close examination of his financial history makes clear Corker has aggressively taken advantage of the Congressional privilege absolving him from criminal responsibility for inside trading, in what Corker has described as “day-trading.”
Infowars.com published for the first time last week evidence documenting Corker has invested possibly as much as $50 million in hedge funds that included a transaction in 2008 with Pointer Management LLC in Chattanooga in which Corker purchased credit default swaps, derivative instruments that shorted the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that Corker now wants to close.
From his days as mayor of Chattanooga (before his run for the Senate in 2006) Corker has a history of benefiting handsomely from billions of dollars in commercial bank loans (notably from Wells Fargo and UBS) that he and his partners used to make promising real estate investments and/or to refinance troubled real estate deals which were about to go belly-up.
Let’s just consider the tip-of-the iceberg evidence.
In May 2016, the FBI and the SEC began investigating Corker’s ties to CBL & Associate Properties, Inc. – the real estate firm that backed Corker at the start of his real estate career in Chattanooga – for alleged accounting fraud, including falsifying information to banks when applying for loans, and failing to report on his Senate personal financial disclosures of millions of dollars profit he made actively trading CBL stock.
Here was a typical pattern of Corker’s CBL trades that reeks suspiciously of the type of insider information that would have landed an ordinary citizen behind bars in a federal prison:
- Corker evidently purchased between $2 and $10 million of CBL stock just prior to a July 2010 announcement that Swiss-headquartered UBS bank (a bank with a prominent presence in Chattanooga that rented space in a Corker-owned building) was upgrading its CBL rating from “sell” to “neutral.”
- Less than a month later, Corker unloaded between $3 and $12 million of his CBL stock, days before UBS returned the CBL rating to “sell.”
- In the interim, CBL’s stock price leapt by more than 35%, from $11.83 per share to $14.66, netting Corker some $1.87 million in slightly more than three weeks.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 3, 2015, that Corker purchased between $1 million and $5 million in 2011 and sold them five months later for a 42 percent gain – trades Corker only disclosed after questions from the WSJ about “apparent discrepancies” in his Senate financial-disclosure reports – trades that occurred after Corker made a pair of purchases of CBL stock in the name of his daughters that the WSJ estimated netted him more than $1 million.
CBL has “given generously” to Corker’s political campaigns, with CBL executives, directors, and spouses contributing more than $88,706 to his campaign committee and PAC since Corker’s 2006 run for the Senate.
UBS is not the only bank important to building Crocker’s wealth.
Infowars.com previously reported a $28 million-dollar refinancing to Crocker’s real estate partner Henry Luken in 2010 which bailed out Luken and Corker when Luken’s real estate firm was technically in default on loans used to buy Corker’s real estate in 1999, in a transaction where Corker had contingent liability that might have thrown him into bankruptcy.
In 2014, Corker made a $1 million-plus investment in a Mobile, Alabama shopping center, just days before the project’s developers disclosed they had secured financing from Wells Fargo.
Since 1994, Wells Fargo has awarded CBL up to $1.26 billion, making Wells Fargo a major lender – a relationship that was affirmed most recently in October 2015, when Wells helped CBL secure a credit facility of $1 billion and close a new $350 million term loan.
On March 21, 2016, the Campaign for Accountability (CFA) filed a complaint with the SEC and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics alleging that Croker concealed information about his stake in several hedge funds managed by his campaign donors in violation of federal laws and Senate Rules.
The CFA complaint alleged that between 2013 and 2015, Corker failed to disclose the underlying assets in at least six hedge funds from which he had received at least $2 million in income, in violation of Senate rules.
CFA Executive Director Anne Weismann said, “Sen. Corker hasn’t just made a mockery of Senate disclosure rules, he may have committed a crime. Authorities should investigate why Sen. Corker was so intent on hiding the underlying assets of these funds that he filed inaccurate disclosure forms year after year.”
On Dec. 13, 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported Corker had failed to disclose millions of dollars of income from real estate, hedge funds and other investments since entering the Senate in 2007, according to revised financial reports filed by the Tennessee Republican – despite Corker then serving as the third-ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the real-estate and financial-services sectors.
In a letter dated March 29, 2007, Corker rounded up four other U.S. Senators, including Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner to write a letter to Melvin Watt, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The letter asked President Trump to continue taking what is known as the “Net Worth Sweep” that sweeps all Freddie and Fannie earnings into the U.S. Treasury, without paying stockholders any dividends.
In their appeal to Watt, Corker and Warner argued that if the Trump administration stopped the NWS, Fannie and Freddie would be allowed to recapitalize, something Congress envisioned in the 2008 decision to place Freddie and Fannie in a conservatorship.
But Corker and Warner do not want Freddie and Fannie to recapitalize because this would be directly counter to the “housing finance reform” legislation Corker and Warner have co-sponsored since 2013.
That legislation aims to complete the Obama administration plan to shut down Fannie and Freddie, handing over all U.S. mortgage finance to Wall Street and to big banks, including Wells Fargo and UBS.
Corker and Warner, with their proposed legislation, have schemed to advance what leaked Geithner-era Treasury documents published by Infowars.com proves there was an Obama administration plan to end “home ownership” as part of the American Dream.
These leaked documents show Obama’s Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lead a series among Obama administration officials and outside real estate “experts” that were closed to the press, aiming to “wind down” Fannie and Freddie, knowing full well that closing Fannie and Freddie would turn the U.S. middle class into a nation of “well-housed” renters, on the model of the European Union.