Mnuchin sold companies for $15 million to avoid ethics conflicts
Posted August 8
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sold his real estate and entertainment businesses for at least $15 million to avoid conflicts of interest, according to newly released documents.
Mnuchin told officials in January that he would dump the assets within months of being confirmed to comply with federal ethics laws. The financial disclosure forms show that he sold interests in Dune Real Estate Partners, Dune Capital Partners, Dune Entertainment Partners and other companies in May.
It is impossible to know exactly how much Mnuchin made off the sales, because these documents only ask officeholders to disclose figures in ranges.
The sale of his interest in Dune Capital Partners, for example, netted Mnuchin anywhere between $5,000,001 and $25 million, according to the filings. At the top range, all of the sales could have netted him $52 million.
Another newly released form shows that Mnuchin sold artwork in June for more than $1 million.
Neither of the disclosure documents show who bought the assets.
The documents were certified by an ethics official Monday. Their existence was first reported by Bloomberg.
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Mnuchin was a former partner at Goldman Sachs and a Hollywood producer whose ties to Wall Street ran deep. He was expected to sell off dozens of holdings so he could head the Treasury without conflict.
His company RatPac-Dune Entertainment, for example, was launched in 2013 with filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian businessman James Packer.
That firm has financed movies like "American Sniper," "Batman v Superman" and the "Lego Movie" franchise.
Mnuchin also sold millions of dollars worth of holdings in other companies earlier this year.
That included his stake in CIT Group, the financial holding company where he used to be a board member. He resigned his board seat there before he took office.
Financial forms released earlier show that Mnuchin sold his CIT Group holdings -- along with stakes in Verizon, Microsoft, AT&T and other companies -- in April.
Federal officials are often allowed to defer paying capital gains taxes when they divest problematic holdings, so long as they put the money in a diversified investment fund approved by the government. It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether Mnuchin had obtained such approval in these cases.
--CNNMoney's Cristina Alesci and Donna Borak contributed to this story.