Published On: Tue, Feb 7th, 2017

Oh Steven Mnuchin, What Now?

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Steven Mnuchin $100 million

Will Steven Mnuchin ever get confirmed to be the new Treasury Secretary under President Donald Trump? Steven Mnuchin is currently caught up in several scandals.

The first one involves his already controversial financial institution OneWest. According to the New York Post, OneWest may be guilty of engaging in robo-signing of documents in New Jersey, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Texas. This is in addition to in the State of California where a criminal investigation is underway into the matter. The accusation is that Steven Mnuchin and his associates forced homeowners into foreclosure by back dating documents.

If the nefarious activities of his bank were not enough to torpedo Mnuchin’s nomination, perjury before the Senate in his confirmation hearings might. Steven Mnuchin testified point blank, ““OneWest did not ‘robo-sign’ documents.”

At the same time Steven Mnuchin has been accused of fraud related to the entertainment company Relativity Media. Mnuchin is an investor in the now bankrupt company owned by Ryan Kavanaugh.

Steven Mnuchin and Relativity Media

So what is all of this about?

Well Variety reports that RKA Film Financing has filed a lawsuit which accused Steven Mnuchin and eight others of misappropriating $80 million which was loaned to Relativity Media for movie development. RKA claims that $50 million of the misspent money went to a bank that the treasury secretary-designate founded, the lawsuit contends.

The $50 million allegedly went to OneWest, Steven Mnuchin’s bank, after he stepped down from Relativity Media.

The suit states, “To be sure, Mnuchin’s resignation from Relativity’s Board a single day before this misappropriation was intended to make the ‘sweeps’ look legitimate.”

“In reality, all of the Defendants knew that Relativity was a failing enterprise, and that, rather than financing P&A expenses, the P&A Facility was always intended to, among other things: pay salaries and bonuses of Relativity personnel, its contractual debts, and its other general corporate expenses.”

Steven Mnuchin spokesman Barney Keller released a statement saying, “The claims against Steven Mnuchin are the same frivolous claims that were previously rejected by the court.”

“RKA never once spoke with, corresponded with or otherwise dealt with Mr. Mnuchin. RKA’s allegations are preposterous, don’t deserve coverage in Variety, and Mr. Mnuchin’s inclusion in this complaint is gratuitous and insulting,” added Keller. “On November 12th Mr. Mnuchin’s counsel wrote to RKA and warned them that if they re-asserted these baseless claims against Mr. Mnuchin, he would seek sanctions from the court. Mr. Mnuchin intends to follow through on that warning.”

So will Steven Mnuchin still be confirmed by the full Senate? Probably. If the previously known activities of OneWest were not enough to block his nomination, neither will this.

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