May 19, 2024

Harlan Crow Saves on Taxes Through Yachting With the Right Thomas: Report

  • The yacht trips of Justice Clarence Thomas and GOP megadonor Harlan Crow are again under scrutiny.
  • Via ProPublicaCrow registered his yacht as a charter vessel but only took close friends on trips.
  • As a result, he could pay his own company, report losses, and save on his tax bill, according to ProPublica.

Questionable tax practices may have facilitated GOP donor Harlan Crow’s lavish yacht trips with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, according to a new report.

Crow’s relationship with Thomas has come under scrutiny since ProPublica reported that Crow funded vacation years for Thomas, who failed to reveal the journeys. Some of these were trips on Crow’s yacht, the Michaela Rose, and were organized through Rochelle Charter, a company registered to charter the yacht.

But the trips on the yacht — which is registered as a charter vessel — were, in fact, limited to Crow’s inner circle. according to ProPublica. Crow paid his own company for private yacht trips and was able to get tax breaks and lower his tax bill, according to tax data from 2003 to 2015 reviewed by ProPublica.

Tax experts and politicians who spoke to the outlet said such a practice could amount to gambling and should be investigated.

“Based on the information available, this looks like a textbook billionaire tax scam,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden told ProPublica.

A representative for Crow did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

But it points out that between 2003 and 2015, Crow recorded $8 million in losses for family company Rochelle Charter, resulting in tax savings between 2003 and 2015. The megadonor intended to charter the boat for profit and instead took six friends like Thomas for a cruise, according to the report. .

Thomas did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

In April, Crow and Thomas faced scrutiny over 20 years’ worth of undisclosed trips Crow is accused of giving gifts to Thomas, per ProPublica. The outlet later reported that Crow bought Thomas’ mother’s house and let her live there rent-free.

In response, Thomas – who requested an extension to file his financial disclosure forms this year – said he was not aware at the time that he intended to disclose the trips with Crow.

Crow claimed to the Dallas Morning News that the revelation about his relationship with Thomas was “a political job”.

Congress scrutinized Crow and Thomas’ relationship, demanding detailed disclosure of gifts Crow gave to Supreme Court justices.

As it stands, a group of judges, the Financial Disclosure Committee, is investigating Thomas and disclosure rules, and Senate Democrats have made a separate effort to investigate Thomas and other judges.

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