Gov. Rick Scott has touted the fact that he and his wife have released an unprecedented amount of financial data — more than their opponent — this election cycle. But that is not quite true.
Charlie Crist has released his 2013 tax return, although his wife who files separately has not. Scott, who files jointly with his wife, Ann, has not released his 2013 return.
Tomorrow, the governor has a chance to close that gap.
According to the IRS, Oct. 15 is the deadline for anyone who received a six-month extension to file their return.
After tomorrow, Scott can’t say his tax return is still in the works. Will he release it? His campaign won’t say.
Maybe it will be his break-through news during the Leadership Florida/Florida Press Association debate in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, here are some questions — based on the Herald/Times analysis — about the many discrepancies raised by his financial disclosure report that the governor could clear up if he released his tax returns:
1. What happened to the Argan stock?
- Dec. 21, 2012, RLS tells the SEC that 350,000 shares of Argan have been sold and reported that the remaining 1,323,000 shares were divided this way:
- Richard L. Scott Blind Trust: 523,664
- Richard L. & Annette Scott Family Partnership: 266,445
- F. Annette Scott Revocable Trust: 523,891
- Based on the closing price of Argan stock on Dec. 31, 2013, Scott’s 1.3 million shares of stock in Argan was worth $36,461,880 but the governor only reported a value of $14,686,476, roughly the equivalent of the blind trust share. What happened to the rest of the stock? Why was it not reported as an asset for the governor?
2. What happened to the NTS stock?
- In a 2014 statement to shareholders, NTS reported that Scott’s investment advisor Alan L. Bazaar “has shared voting and dispositive power over 5,011,966 shares of NTS common stock as Co-chief Executive Officer of Hollow Brook Wealth Management LLC which acts as a trustee of a blind trust for the benefit of Mr. Richard L. Scott (the Scott Blind Trust”), investment advisor of a family partnership controlled by Richard L. Scott’s spouse (“the Scott Family Partnership”) and a revocable trust for the benefit of Mr. Scott’s spouse (“the Scott Revocable Trust.”) The Scott Blind Trust, Scott Family Partnership and Scott Revocable Trust (together, the “Scott Trusts”) collectively own 5,011,966 shares of NTS common stock. Mr. Bazaar disclaims beneficial ownership of all securities held by the Scott Trusts.”
- As of Dec. 31, 2013, it appears the value of the NTS shares held by the Scott Trusts was $9,874,000 but RLS reported the value of NTS/Xfone stock was only $2,468,402. Why the difference? How his RLS no longer the “beneficial owner” of the 5,011,966 shares?
3. What happened to Wireless Telecom stock?
- Wireless Telecom lists “Richard L. Scott” of Naples as the single largest owner in the company with 1.8 million of the outstanding shares, according to an April 2014 proxy statement released to shareholders.
- The price of Wireless Telecom on Dec. 31, 2013 was $2.12 per share, making Scott’s stake worth $3.9 million. However, on the governor’s financial disclosure, he lists only $944,383 worth of Wireless Telecom stock at the end of 2013. What happened to the rest of the stock?
4. What happened to MeetMe/Quepasa stock?
- On March 5, 2013, Richard L. Scott Investments entered into an agreement to purchase 1 million shares of stock in MeetMe, exercising options from 2008, giving him a total of the 2,496,900 shares.
- On December 31, 2013, MeetMe/Quepasa shares sold for $1.83. That would put Scott’s value at $4,569,327.
- Scott reported taxable interest of $428,752 related to MeetMe on his 2013 financial disclosure form but he does not list MeetMe as an asset. What happened to the rest of the stock?