Gov. Rick Scott’s family fortune could be upwards of $500 million, a number much larger than he has reported in the past because Florida did not require the governor to include massive investments held by his wife, according to federal financial disclosure forms filed Friday.
The forms were filed as part of Scott’s bid for the U.S. Senate, and answer a question long asked by Florida political observers: How much is Scott really worth? Scott is Florida’s wealthiest governor ever, and has used that personal wealth to fuel his political campaigns. But there has long been talk in political circles that Scott is worth much more than what appears in state financial disclosure forms.
The two-term governor told state election officials this year that his net worth was $232 million, a number that did not include investments held by his wife, Anne. Holdings under her name, which previously were not disclosed publicly, are worth between $171 million and $208 million, according to Scott’s Friday filing.
The Tampa Bay Times reports:
Scott said he would continue to put his assets in a blind trust, managed by a third party, which his campaign said would avoid “even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Scott’s similar use of a blind trust as governor is under legal assault in Florida courts, and Friday’s disclosure could make his vast wealth a bigger political issue as he uses some of his personal wealth to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
As a senator, Scott would regularly cast votes on matters affecting firms in which the disclosure shows he or his wife has a financial stake, including school districts, hospitals, public housing authorities and transportation firms.
Because individual assets worth more than $1 million are only required to be listed as “over $1 million,” it’s likely that the total is much more than $500 million. Before entering politics, Scott headed a healthcare company that was forced to pay a $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud.