Forbes business magazine has booted US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross off its list of the richest people in America for the first time in 13 years, alleging he lied to it about his net worth by more than $2bn.
商業雜誌《福布斯》(Forbes) 已將美國商務部長威爾伯•羅斯(Wilbur Ross)移出其美國富豪榜，這是13年來首次。《福布斯》稱羅斯在自己的資產凈值上對該雜誌說謊，自報身價比真實身價多了超過20億美元。
Mr Ross, 79, who made his fortune in private equity and by turning round distressed businesses, disclosed a net worth of about $700m when he was nominated to President Donald Trump』s cabinet.
A year earlier, his net worth was listed at $2.9bn on the Forbes 400 list. When the magazine confronted him about the lower figure, he told them that the rest of his assets were held in trusts that he did not have to disclose. He told the magazine his net worth was actually closer to $3.7bn, according to Forbes, but would not provide them with documentation of the missing billions.
「After one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: that money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004,」 the magazine said.
A spokesman for Mr Ross did not respond to a request for comment.
According to Forbes, his office responded to their queries by saying: 「Secretary Ross has filed all required disclosures in accordance with the law and in consultation with both legal counsel and ethics officials at the Department of Commerce and Office of Government Ethics. As we have said before, any misunderstanding from your previous conversation with Secretary Ross is unfortunate.」
據《福布斯》報導，他的辦公室回答了他們的問題，稱：「羅斯部長已經按照法律的規定，在諮詢了法律顧問以及商務部(Department of Commerce)和政府倫理辦公室(Office of Government Ethics)負責倫理問題的官員後，滿足了所有披露要求。正如我們之前所說，源自你方與羅斯部長過往交談的任何誤解令人遺憾。」
Forbes says Mr Ross inflated his net worth by claiming credit for the money he had made for all investors through some of his investments. He was listed on the Forbes 400 for the first time in 2004 with a fortune of $1bn.
Mr Ross also claimed that he transferred $2bn into trusts between the election and the nomination, meaning he did not have to disclose the sum.
He was forced to defend himself earlier this week after a leak of millions of documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, revealed that he owned a stake in a shipping group that does business with a company linked to the family of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
本周早些時候，在被稱為「天堂文件」(Paradise Papers)的數百萬份文件泄露後，他被迫為自己辯護。泄露出來的文件顯示，他擁有一家航運集團的股份，該集團與一家與俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾•普京(Vladimir Putin)的家族有聯繫的公司有業務往來。
The commerce secretary owns shares through several offshore entities in Navigator Holdings, a shipping group listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The documents showed that Navigator』s clients include Sibur, a Russian gas producer part-owned by Kirill Shamalov, son-in-law of Mr Putin.
羅斯通過幾個離岸實體持有在紐約證交所(NYSE)上市的航運集團Navigator Holdings的股票。「天堂文件」顯示，Navigator的客戶包括俄羅斯天然氣生產商西布爾(Sibur)，普京的女婿基里爾•沙馬洛夫(Kirill Shamalov)擁有該公司的部分股權。