Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Florida Politics
  4. /
  5. The Buzz

Rick Scott’s wealth dips after spending $65 million to win Florida Senate race

But the Republican is still worth at least $166 million and is one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., gestures as he speaks to members of the media on April 15 at El Porton de la Flaca Colombian restaurant in Doral. Scott reported he is worth at least $166 million in annual financial disclosures released Tuesday. [AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee]
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., gestures as he speaks to members of the media on April 15 at El Porton de la Flaca Colombian restaurant in Doral. Scott reported he is worth at least $166 million in annual financial disclosures released Tuesday. [AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee]
Published Aug. 13, 2019
Updated Aug. 13, 2019

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is worth at least $166 million and likely much, much more, according to a disclosure report he filed Tuesday, making him one of the richest members of Congress.

The Florida Republican’s investments include holdings in defense contractors and in a telecommunications company, according to his annual financial disclosure. Scott serves on Senate committees that regulate those industries.

Scott’s disclosure also showed he and his wife Ann have potentially tens of millions of dollars invested in private funds run by the Scott’s former financial advisers, effectively allowing him to circumvent disclosure requirements.

In all, Scott reported earning between $23 million and $113 million last year from his massive portfolio of investments that spans all sectors of the economy. A large chunk of that income came in the form of stock sales; Scott listed more than 500 assets he unloaded in 2018.

But it appears the Republican’s wealth dropped considerably after he spent $65 million to defeat Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in his U.S. Senate race last year.

RELATED: Rick Scott pumps his fortune into Florida’s Senate race in last-minute push

Rick Scott reveals highest-ever family assets of at least $255 million

Disclosure rules require only that senators to select income ranges for each asset (such as between $500,000 and $1 million), so it is difficult to determine Scott’s actual wealth. However, he reported household holdings of at least $166 million, which is $87 million less than last year.

Similarly, Scott listed more than 100 assets held by Ann Scott, which are worth $1 million or more, so his maximum wealth is also impossible to calculate. However, the couple could be worth as much as $352 million, if not more. That, too, is well below last year’s ceiling.

Still, it’s a total that would make him one of the five richest members of Congress, according to a 2018 analysis by Roll Call.

Florida’s senior U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio earlier this year reported assets worth up to $355,000 and a mortgage of up to $1 million on his South Florida home.

“Sen. Scott is following the United States Senate’s extensive financial disclosure requirements in an open and transparent manner,” Scott spokeswoman Sarah Schwirian said. “Every decision he made as governor and every decision he makes as senator is based on what’s in the best interest of Florida families.”

Financial disclosures for senators were due in May but Scott was granted an extension through Tuesday.

Scott’s fortune has been the subject of much intrigue over the years — for how he earned it, how he has shielded it from public view and the potential conflicts with his official duties as Florida’s governor and now senator.

Scott faced scorn from Nelson and other Democrats during the Senate race for his trust as reports emerged about his financial ties to businesses involved in the state. For example, Scott and his wife invested at least $5 million in a hedge fund that owned 7 million shares of stock in Conduent, the company controversially chosen by Scott’s Department of Transportation to oversee the SunPass toll billing system.

Scott and his wife also invested $3 million in the parent company of All Aboard Florida, the high speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa that Scott originally canceled and then revived with private investors.

Now in the Senate, Scott has investments that create new potential conflicts with his job. He owns stock in defense contractors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin while sitting on the powerful Senate committee that oversees the Pentagon’s budget.

While he unloaded hundreds of stocks this year, he kept a big one: Wireless Telecom Group, Inc. He and Ann own at least $2 million in the company. Scott works on the Senate subcommittee that regulates wireless communications.

The former health care executive made his wealth building one of the country’s largest hospital networks. He resigned in 1997 amid a federal fraud investigation and left with $300 million in stock and options. Later, the U.S. Department of Justice fined the company $1.7 billion for defrauding Medicare and other government health care programs.

RELATED: Rick and Ann Scott had stake in shipping giant linked to Putin

Rick Scott told Florida not to invest in companies linked to Venezuela, but he did

A political outsider, Scott came from relative obscurity to win the Republican primary for governor in 2010. In all, he spent about $75 million of his own money to capture the nomination and win the governor’s race over Democrat Alex Sink.

As governor, Scott put his assets in what he called a “blind trust,” though ethics experts said it fell well short of the definition and it mainly served to shield his investments from the public. His wife’s holdings were not in the trust, nor did he disclose her assets for most of his eight years as governor.

During that span, Scott’s family bought and sold assets that mirror those held by Scott’s blind trust and had them managed by the same team of financial advisers who worked on Scott’s investments before he became governor.

Those same advisers continue to work with Scott, managing at least seven private investment funds and one newly-created limited liability company to hold the assets of a $4.3 million luxury condo Scott and his wife bought in D.C.’s West End.

MORE: Rick Scott invested in Raytheon. He voted to make the company’s ex-lobbyist Defense Secretary.

Revealed: Rick Scott’s financial link to botched SunPass contract

The disclosure he filed last year to run for U. S. Senate was the first time he made public his wife’s investments. Unlike Florida law, which does not require Scott to disclose his spouse’s assets, he must disclose all his family’s assets to run for Congress, although the disclosure of his wife’s assets are not required to be as rigorous as his.

When Scott ran for Senate he chose to abandon his blind trust because, unlike federal law that allowed the governor to choose a trustee he knew and had worked with, the federal law prohibits blind trusts to be managed by someone with a prior relationship to the elected official and all communication between them is forbidden.

Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis eliminated the state law that allowed Scott to create his unique trust.

Times staff writer Connie Humburg contributed to this report.



ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Florida Senator Rob Bradley, R- Fleming Island, watches the action on the first day of the session, 1/14/2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    A popular bill would allow judges to dole out punishments less than the mandatory minimum sentences spelled out in state law for many drug crimes if the defendant meets certain criteria.
  2. Vice President Mike Pence take selfies with supporters after giving a campaign speech during the "Keep America Great" rally at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    ‘Come November the American people are going to have our say,’ Pence said.
  3. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  4. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, members of the Florida Cabinet, left, and the Florida Supreme Court, right, stand at attention as the colors are posted in the Florida Senate during the first day of the Florida legislative session in Tallahassee, Tuesday, January 14, 2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The court ruled that Amendment 4‘s “all terms of sentence” include the payment of all court fees, fines and restitution.
  5. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  6. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,, center, speaks as fellow candidates businessman Tom Steyer, from left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. listen, Tuesday during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP]
    The candidates’ proposals reveal differences in how they plan to approach the issue.
  7. Vice President Mike Pence points to supporters before speaking during a campaign rally at the Huntington Center, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) [TONY DEJAK  |  AP]
    Vice President Mike Pence will take the stage in New Tampa, at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, at 1:30 p.m. It wasn’t planned that way.
  8. <Samsung D70 / D75 / S730 / S750>
    For the first time since he was nominated by Gov. Ron DeSantis for the job of Florida Surgeon General, Scott Rivkees appeared before senators to answer questions that have been percolating for nine...
  9. The Florida Capitol at the start of the legislative session on Tuesday Jan. 14, 2020, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) [STEVE CANNON  |  AP]
    Lawmakers are expected to determine some kind of redesign for the agency in the next two months, after criticizing the agency for running a deficit every year for the past few years.
  10. Florida Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, was the sponsor of a law that was to go into effect Friday that would have created new requirements for abortion doctors that could have limited the number of clinics. But the U.S. Supreme Court threw out similar Texas restrictions, raising doubt about the fate of Florida's new law. [Scott Keeler | Times]
    SB 404, sponsored by Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel, of Lakeland, adds a requirement that doctors must have consent from a parent or guardian before an abortion is performed on a minor.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement