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The seven Republican super-donors who keep money in tax havens

The seven Republican super-donors who keep money in tax havens

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Paradise Papers show these men, who invest heavily in Super Pacs, share a presence offshore if not a love of Trump

Seven Republican super-donors helped bankroll the conservative push for power in the 2016 election cycle, between them pumping more than $350m (264m) into federal and state races.

The Paradise Papers illuminate another aspect of these vastly wealthy men their propensity to nurture offshore some of their combined fortunes, estimated by Forbes at $142bn, largely beyond the reach of public scrutiny and tax authorities.

The seven have their divisions, especially over Donald Trump. Warren Stephens was a major backer of the Stop Trump movement last year, while Geoff Palmer was among the then Republican nominees biggest financial backers.

But they share a presence in tax havens. In turn, they face a legitimate question as they wield influence by investing in Super Pacs with names including Rebuilding America now, Right to rise USA and American unity: are their political principles undermined by their offshore practices?

Warren Stephens

Warren
Warren Stephens. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Stephens, a major Republican donor, was the hiddenco-owner of a payday lending company US authorities are suing for$50m after it allegedly used predatory tactics to deceive customers about the true cost of their loans.

He is identified in the leaked documents as one of the two main owners of a group of short-term lenders including Integrity Advance, which is accused of violating federal laws.

The Paradise Papers reveal that the billionaire financier, based in Arkansas, holds a 40% stake in the lenders parent company, which donated widely to US political campaigns over recent years while its link to Stephens was generally unknown.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/07/us-republican-donors-offshore-paradise-papers

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