The Wall Street analyst who uncovered financial discrepancies at General Electric before its stock crashed in 2008 claims the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has a number of irregularities in its tax records and could be violating state laws.
Charles Ortel, a longtime financial adviser, said he has spent the past 15 months digging into the Clinton Foundation’s public records, federal and state-level tax filings, and donor disclosures. That includes records from the foundation’s many offshoots—including the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Clinton Global Initiative—as well as its foreign subsidiaries.
This week, Ortel is starting to release his findings in the first of a series of up to 40 planned reports on his website. His allegation: “this is a charity fraud.”
The Sunday Times of London described Ortel as “one of the finest analysts of financial statements on the planet” in a 2009 story detailing the troubles at AIG.
“Where you or I see pages of numbers, [Ortel] sees a narrative,” wrote Sunday Times reporter Tim Rayment. “Sometimes the theme is a company’s potential for growth. Sometimes it is the prospect of self-destruction. And at times the story does not make sense, because the figures are hiding a fraud.”
Ortel turned his attention to the Clinton Foundation in February 2015. To learn more about the charity, he decided to take it apart and see how it worked.
“I decided, as I did with GE, let’s pick one that’s complicated,” said Ortel. “The Clinton Foundation is complicated, but it’s really very small compared to GE.”
When Ortel tried to match up the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings with the disclosure reports from its major donors, he said he started to find problems.
“I decided it would be fun to cross-check what their donors thought they did when they donated to the Clinton Foundation, and that’s when I got really irritated,” he said. “There are massive discrepancies between what some of the major donors say they gave to the Clinton Foundation to do, and what the Clinton Foundation said what they got from the donors and what they did with it.”
Last year, the Clinton Foundation was forced to issue corrected tax filings for several years to correct donation errors. But Ortel said many of the discrepancies remain.
“I’m against charity fraud. I think people in both parties are against charity fraud, and this is a charity fraud,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Clinton Foundation did not comment on the claims.