Wilbur Ross is 'a pathological liar,' says a former colleague.
Grifters are gonna grift. And then they go work for Trump.
A stunning new expose from Forbes magazine reveals that Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has allegedly been siphoning off money from his colleagues for years.
Lots and lots of money.
"Those who’ve done business with Ross generally tell a consistent story, of a man obsessed with money and untethered to facts," Forbes reports. "If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history."
In that sense, he's a perfect match for Trump, who has a long history of ripping people off while puffing up his own worth.
The emerging portrait of Ross is equally unflattering.
"Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary," the magazine reports.
"But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million."
Ross, who's supposed to be overseeing Trump's erratic and dangerous trade war, also has a history of lying about his wealth.
Last year, Forbes reported that Trump's commerce secretary had been involved in a series of “fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers” for 13 years designed to make him look like a billionaire. On his financial disclosure forms filed with the government, Ross had to admit he is worth less than $700 million — far less than the $3.7 billion he previously claimed.
For years, Trump also lied to Forbes about his personal wealth, obsessed with getting on the magazine's prestigious list of America's richest people.
In 1982, after much cajoling from Trump, Forbes listed his wealth at $100 million. In truth, it was closer to $5 million at the time. The lies continued for years after that.
Later, Trump even sued journalist Tim O’Brien, who estimated that while media reports estimated Trump was worth $2.7 billion, the actual number was closer to $150-250 million. Trump’s lawsuit was unsuccessful.
As for Ross, "He's a pathological liar," one former colleague tells Forbes. "He’ll push the edge of truthfulness and use whatever power he has to grab assets,” adds New York financier Asher Edelman.
It appears that Ross, like Trump, is a con man.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.