Loan given by Ann Scott raises questions about governor’s blind trust

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By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
August 8, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Governor Rick Scott’s finances are coming under new scrutiny following the release of his federal financial disclosure.

When Governor Scott took office, he put his assets in a blind trust to ward off any speculation that his investments would influence policy decisions.

Embroiled in a neck-and-neck race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Bill Nelson points to the trust as a problem spot for Scott.

“His blind, so-called blind trust, is not blind, because it’s [run by] his longtime business partner and business adviser,” said Nelson.

The 125-page federal financial disclosure of the Scotts' finances reveals Mrs. Scott loaned between $100 and $250,000 to a woman who works for the same company that employs the trustee of the governor’s blind trust.

“His wife is loaning money to the very people that are managing his money,” said Nelson.

Scott responded to Nelson on Twitter saying, in part, “You are embarrassing yourself and our state. There is no justification for you attacking my wife.”

This isn’t the first time Scott’s blind trust has come under fire. There’s a lawsuit aimed at requiring him to be more transparent about his investments.

Big-time Democratic donor Don Hinkle is spearheading the lawsuit.

“He can talk to his wife, his wife is talking to the trust. It's just a tiny fig leaf trying to cover the shenanigans that are his finances,” said Hinkle.

Mrs. Scott responded to the criticism saying the loan was given to a close family friend of more than 20 years who was in a 'situation where she needed help'.

"I was glad to help her. That’s what friends do for each other, and I would do it again,” said Mrs. Scott.

The report shows the Scotts’ combined net worth is between at least $255 and $510 million, but it’s likely much higher.

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