Tampa Bay Times: Rick and Ann Scott’s financial trail leads to Cayman Islands tax haven

Posted on August 27, 2018

By: Steve Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times

The portfolio of Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott includes earnings last year of at least $2.9 million in two dozen hedge funds registered in the Cayman Islands, a well-known tax haven for U.S. and foreign investors.

The investments had a minimum total value of $25 million and a potential value of $62 million, according to the financial disclosure statement Scott filed last month as a U.S. Senate candidate.

The 125-page statement included details of Scott's blind trust, managed by a New York trustee who's a former business associate of the governor's.

"The governor had no role in selecting that investment," said a spokesman for Scott's campaign, Lauren Schenone. "The blind trust is managed by an independent financial professional who decides what assets are bought, sold or changed."

Scotts' assets totaled at least $255 million. The governor has not said whether he will continue to have a blind trust if he's elected to the U.S. Senate.

Of the 23 individual investments the Scotts listed, six are in the governor's name and 17 are in his wife's name.

The July 27 filing is the first time in his nearly eight years as governor that Scott was required to disclose his wife's financial holdings.

Foreign investors park money in the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes. The British territory also is favored by corporations and partnerships that want to avoid the long reach of the IRS in taxing unrelated business income.

Scott's campaign said the principal place of business for one fund, Overlook 3G Investments, is Hong Kong. But the company's web site describes that fund as a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership that was formed two years ago to invest in a Chinese utility company.

Another investment listed by the Scotts, Canyon Balanced Fund LP, was held solely by the governor and had a value of between $5 million and $25 million, and produced income last year of between $100,001 and $1 million.

Under Senate rules, candidates and officeholders list assets in broad ranges…

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