Paul Chabot’s Financial Disclosures: Intent to Conceal Information from the Public?

Shady campaign funds, missed filing deadlines and unreported assets only scratch the surface of GOP candidate’s financial revelations

A comprehensive review of Republican congressional candidate Paul Chabot’s financial disclosure forms has raised serious questions about Mr. Chabot’s transparency with Inland Empire residents about his financial interests. All candidates running to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives are required by law to submit Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) reports to the House Clerk’s office detailing their personal finances. However, a thorough inspection of Mr. Chabot’s financial disclosure documents has uncovered what appears to be a systemic pattern of deception to conceal his financial interests from the public. Mr. Chabot has a lot of explaining to do and owes Inland Empire residents answers to the following questions:

Where did Mr. Chabot get the $50,000 he loaned his campaign in March 2016? Federal law states that candidates can only accept a loan of this amount from their personal funds. However, because he failed to identify the identity of any of his assets, it’s not clear where the money came from. If he withdrew these funds from accounts held by a family member, friend, donor or from any source other than his personal funds, it would be illegal.

Why are Mr. Chabot’s business interests not disclosed? In 2014, Mr. Chabot reported that he was the owner of Chabot Strategies, LLC, but his 2015 and 2016 reports do not show him as the owner. On his campaign website, he claims that he is still President of both this company and Chabot Securities International, neither of which appear on his 2015 or 2016 PFD. On the PFD, candidates are supposed to disclose positions held within the last two years.

Why did Mr. Chabot not disclose royalties he received from the book he published in 2011? Mr. Chabot failed to disclose any royalties or payments from his book, if indeed there were any. As recently as this week, Mr. Chabot was using his campaign to sell his book.

Why was Mr. Chabot over one year late in filing his 2015 PFD? Since Mr. Chabot filed his statement of candidacy in February 2015, he should have filed his PFD by May 15, 2015. Records show he filed on May 16, 2016, which is 366 days late. This should have resulted in a $200 fine by the House Committee on Ethics.

Why are none of Mr. Chabot’s 2015 or 2016 assets identified in a way that makes sense? Mr. Chabot did not report the amount of income earned on any of his assets in 2015 and 2016. He appears to have identified the name of the owner in the “asset” column, where the asset should be identified. As a result, Mr. Chabot has effectively concealed his financial interests from public view.

Did Mr. Chabot really pay off all of his student loans? In 2014, he reported $15,001-$50,000 in student loan debt. In 2015 and 2016, he reported no such debts. If he has yet to pay off his student loans, he should have included that in his 2015 and possibly his 2016 PFD.

This lack of transparency is troubling and Inland Empire residents deserve honest answers to these questions from Mr. Chabot.

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