In a Complaint filed yesterday, NLPC asks the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to expand its ongoing investigation of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) to include apparent violations of House Rules related to his ownership of a Harlem investment property.
Again, it appears Rangel has failed to disclose income from a rental property.
On his financial disclosure forms, Rangel reported little or no rental income for eight years (1993-2001) on the six-unit Harlem brownstone, even though public records show tenants were living there. Click here to download a 35-page pdf of the Complaint.
NLPC’s exposure of Rangel’s unreported and undisclosed income from his Dominican Republic “villa,” touched off more intensive scrutiny of Rangel’s finances, leading Rangel to revise his filings last month for 2002 to 2006, showing his net worth to be roughly double what he had claimed in the past.
The revised filings did not cover the years 1993-2001. Until last month, Rangel did not disclose a capital gain of between $500,000 and $1 million when he sold the property in 2004.
Members of Congress are required to report gross rents and capital gains on their financial disclosure forms. Willful disclosure violations are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.
The Complaint also asks the Committee to determine whether Rangel paid appropriate federal and state taxes on the income, as well as property tax to New York City, which is determined in part by the amount of rental income produced.
In the case of the Dominican Republic “villa,” Rangel not only admitted to failing to disclose rental income on his financial disclosure forms, but also failing to report the income to the IRS, and paying taxes on it.
Additionally, NLPC asks the Committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the mortgage on the property. The mortgage document stated that the property would be used as a principal residence, and that Rangel would reside there “at least (6) months of every calendar year.” Rangel was actually living in three rent-stabilized apartments in a nearby building known as Lenox Terrace.
NLPC is playing a key role in efforts to make Rangel accountable.
On July 14, 2008, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Federal Election Commission that alleged that Rangel’s use of a rent-stabilized apartment for use as a campaign office violated the Federal Election Campaign Act, and that it comprised an illegal contribution by the landlord.
On September 5, 2008, NLPC filed Complaints with the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia alleging that Rangel evaded taxes on rental income from the Dominican Republic “villa,” and that Rangel’s public admission of failing to report $75,000 may be deceptively low.
On November 26, 2008, NLPC filed a Complaint with the House Ethics Committee alleging that Rangel violated House Rules by cheating on his taxes by improperly claiming a homestead exemption on a D. C. property.
On May 29, 2009, NLPC filed a Complaint with the House Ethics Committee alleging Rangel and four other members of Congress violated House Rule by taking part in a Citigroup-funded Caribbean junket. (On May 22, the Committee asked NLPC President Peter Flaherty to provide photographs, recordings and other materials from the event that he attended.)
photo: AP/Wide World