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Wilbur Ross’ Financial Disclosure Rejected by Office of Government Ethics

The Office of Government Ethics has reportedly declined to certify Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ financial disclosure over information that was described by the watchdog as “not accurate.” The agency said the form was rejected after Ross again claimed to have sold his BankUnited stock despite not actually doing so. When Ross joined the Trump administration in 2017, he signed an ethics agreement that required him to divest in BankUnited, Inc., and other companies, by May 2017. According to Talking Points Memo, the agency warned Ross in July 2018, after he first claimed to sell the stock, that “the errors on his financial-disclosure forms and his failure to comply with his ethics compliance agreement” could lead to “a serious criminal violation.” But he reportedly filed a new “transaction report” in October 2018 that showed he hadn’t actually sold his BankUnited stock—even though he said he did on his disclosure. “Therefore, OGE is declining to certify Secretary Ross’ 2018 financial-disclosure report because that report was not accurate and he was not in compliance with his ethics agreement at the time of the report,” the OGE’s letter to Ross reportedly read. In a statement, Ross said he was “disappointed” that his report was not certified but remained committed to “adhering to the guidance of Commerce ethics officials.”