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Solamere Capital - Solamere Advisors

"Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary."-- Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme 11/1/2012 ThinkProgress

November,  2012

Controversial For-Profit College Industry Using Your Tax Dollars to Support Romney Victory  11/1/2012 Huff Post: "As Republic Report and others have documented over the course of this year, Mitt Romney doesn't just accept money from these owners of for-profit colleges, he's also in business with them. Mitt Romney's son Tagg and campaign finance director Spencer Zwick run the private equity fund Solamere Capital, which was launched in 2008 with a $10 million investment from Mitt Romney and has an investment relationship with Bain Capital. TA Associates is one of the firms that Solamere Capital offers to its clients for investment. TA Associates owns not just Full Sail but a number of for-profit schools including troubled Vatterott Colleges, marked by exploitative recruiting practices and high student loan defaults. If TA gets richer, the Romneys get richer."

The Romneys: Mitt talks the high road, Tagg gets down and dirty  11/1/2012 Seattle Times: "As his dad runs for president denouncing “crony capitalism” and “big government,” Tagg has been gathering some of Mitt’s richest friends into a private-equity fund called Solamere — a clever instrument for pursuing government subsidies, contracts and tax breaks should Romney win. You see, disclosure laws would make it hard for a President Romney to hide many conflicts of interest. But if the money guys are in Tagg’s Solamere, we don’t know what conflicts of interest the Romney contributors are profiting from. We may not even know the investors’ names."

Romney Camp Dismissive of Ponzi Accusations  11/1/2012 ABC: “It is inaccurate to suggest that Solamere Capital made an investment in this firm. Solamere Capital was approached to invest in a new wealth management firm being launched by these three individuals. After extensive due diligence, Solamere Capital decided not to invest because the business was at an early stage and did not meet our investment criteria. “However, Spencer Zwick, Tagg Romney and Eric Scheuermann each own a minority stake in the business as individual investors.”

Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme  11/1/2012 ThinkProgress: "In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors."


October,  2012

Tagg Team: The Romney Family Recipe for Crony Capitalism  10/29/2012 The Nation: "Marc Leder, a wealthy investor, played host to Mitt Romney last May at a private fundraiser at his $4 million home in Boca Raton. Little did Leder know at the time, however, that someone would videotape the event and later leak it to the world, revealing the GOP standard-bearer in the act of caustically dismissing 47 percent of the country as too “dependent upon government” even to consider voting for him this year. Leder attempted to duck the ensuing storm of media attention, telling Fortune that he had simply “hosted a fundraiser for an old friend.” But Leder’s ties to the candidate run deeper than campaign contributions or an old friendship. As an investor, he is part of a network of links to the Romney family business empire that will acquire enormous relevance if the GOP nominee manages to ascend to the White House."

Here's The Truth About The Story About The Romneys Investing In The Company That Makes The Voting Machines  10/23/2012 Business Insider: "There's a big story circulating on liberal blogs and news sites right now… So Solamere may not have a direct or indirect investment in the voting machine company. But its partner H.I.G. does. And the partner, H.I.G., is run by executives who actively support the Romney campaign."

Why Romney Isn’t Rigging Voting Machines  10/22/2012 Think Progress: "The rigged machines myth is not only distracting, but harms the effort to get out the vote. Conservative groups have been promoting vote suppression tactics for a reason: votes count. In Ohio, for instance, despite the Republican Party’s best efforts to restrict early voting hours, voter turnout is on pace to surpass 2008, with Obama leading among people who have already voted. Spreading the myth that the system is so corrupt that these votes don’t matter tells voters they may as well sit out the election."

Employees of Romney Family's Secret Bank Tied to Fraud, Money Laundering and Drug Cartels  10/21/2012 Truth Out: "As the Iran-Contra explosion crippled the CIA's Caribbean bank of choice, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Stanford's offshore banking empire was using the same techniques and embracing the same moral category of clients. Stanford's banks were known to have laundered money from the Juarez Cartel and alleged to have done so earlier for the Medellin Cartel, and one of his private planes has been seized by the Mexican government in a drug case."

Does the Romney family now own your e-vote?  10/18/2012 Free Press: "Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that's partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House? Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 6. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States."

Tagg Romney's Company Misled Reporters About Its Relationship With Ponzi Scheme–Linked Firm  10/12/2012 The Nation: "When I interviewed him in Las Vegas, Tagg told me that his associates were “cleared” of any wrongdoing associated with the Stanford Ponzi scheme. Court documents directly contradict Tagg and show that the lawsuit has not been dismissed. The New York Times followed up on my story with its own report and confirmed that Tagg’s business partners received incentive pay for selling bunk Stanford CDs. They wrote about one Stanford victim, a local Charlotte businessman and philanthropist named Herman Stone. Stone was pressured by Brandon Phillips, an executive working now for Tagg’s firm, into putting $2 million into a fraudulent Stanford CD and lost everything."

Robert Allen Stanford  10/1/2012 NYT: Compendium of New York Times articles.


April,  2012

Ties to Romney ’08 Helped Fuel an Equity Firm  4/30/2012 NYT: "Two years later, despite a challenging fund-raising climate for private equity, Solamere, named after a wealthy enclave in Utah’s Deer Valley where the Romneys have a winter home, finished raising its first fund. The firm blew past its $200 million goal, securing $244 million from 64 investors, including a critical, early $10 million from Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, and hefty commitments from wealthy supporters of the campaign. "

Narco-Banker: The Allen Stanford Story  4/13/2012 Mad Cow Morning News: "Marston called in an expert from the U.S. Government’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. “The O.C.C. guy went down there, stood across from the Stanford office for maybe several hours, came back and said, ‘Yep, that’s a money-laundering operation,’” recalled an agent involved in the operation. “So Marston goes, ‘How can you tell from just standing across the street?’ And the guy goes, ‘I’m telling you, it is.’ “Then, a little later, we got fairly detailed intelligence that they were indeed laundering for major Colombian drug traffickers.”


March,  2012

Allen Stanford & ‘The Caribbean Two-Step’  3/23/2012 Mad Cow Morning News: "When Stanford was arrested, the first thing he did was retain Oliver North’s lawyer."

Allen Stanford, American Drug Lord  3/21/2012 Mad Cow Morning News: "In the aftermath of Stanford’s arrest, the two former high-level Federal employees fared pretty well. One, deeply and criminally implicated by numerous sources, paid just a $50,000 fine, and never even faced criminal charges. And when the second one did face criminal charges, a miracle occurred."


September,  2009

Miami’s ex-DEA chief charged with shredding documents for disgraced banker Allen Stanford  9/11/2009 Public Intelligence: "Tom Raffanello, who emerged as Stanford’s worldwide security chief after leaving the DEA five years ago, was charged with ordering workers to destroy thousands of documents just days after government agents shut down the banking empire in a massive fraud case."


July,  2009

Stanford Financial Group  7/21/2009 Public Intelligence 


May,  2009

Stanford drug informer role claim  5/9/2009 BBC: "Secret documents seen by Panorama show both governments knew in 1990 that the Texan was a former bankrupt and his first bank was suspected of involvement with Latin American money-launderers. In 1999, both the British and the Americans were aware of the facts surrounding a cheque for $3.1m (£2.05m) that Sir Allen paid to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It was drug money originally paid in to Stanford International Bank by agents acting for a feared Mexican drug lord known as the 'Lord of the Heavens'."


February,  2009

Charges Against Stanford a Long Time Coming, Offshore Banking Experts Say  2/19/2009 ABC: "Authorities tell ABC News that as part of the investigation, which has been ongoing since last year, Mexican authorities detained one of Stanford's private planes. According to officials, checks found inside the plane were believed to be connected to the Gulf cartel, reputed to be Mexico's most violent gang. Authorities say Stanford could potentially face criminal charges of money laundering and bribery of foreign officials."

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