Ultraliberal 'Die Quickly' Rep. Alan Grayson Loses Millions to Stock Scammers

It might be easy to forget, but ultraliberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla) is one of those dreaded "greedheads" who deal in millions of dollars of stocks. A story on the front of The Washington Post business section on Sunday reports Grayson “got burned twice by ‘stock loan’ schemes that have cost him nearly $50 million.”

Dina El Boghdady reports Grayson is ranked 21st in the House for wealth, with a net worth of “at least $16.7 million, in part due to the value of his stock portfolio.” Grayson lost about $18 million in transactions with Virginia businessman William Dean Chapman, who was just sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding Grayson and 121 others. The Post didn't seem to rifle through any of Grayson's recent tax returns, like they wanted to do to Mitt Romney.

Grayson said Chapman made good on some loans over the years. But when others matured in 2007, and Grayson wanted his stock back, Chapman could not deliver. That was the beginning of the end.

Grayson’s return on his stocks that year shot up 1,372 percent, “an astronomical number by any measure,” Pleasant Brodnax, one of Chapman’s attorneys, wrote in a court filing.

Chapman owed Grayson $3.5 million by July 2007, an FBI agent investigating the case said in an affidavit. The debt ballooned to $10.6 million by year’s end. The liabilities owed to Grayson alone “exceeded the amount of cash ACM had on hand,” the agent said.

By 2008, Chapman was on the hook for $18 million worth of Grayson’s stock. ACM was “functionally insolvent” by then, yet it kept taking on new clients, prosecutors said....

In his financial disclosures, Grayson reported having $30 million to $75 million in cash in 2010 — the year after ACM imploded.

“I lost a lot of fish, but I still know how to fish,” said Grayson, who said all would be well if only Chapman had kept his promises. “I don’t want to sound like this means nothing to me. I feel very sad about it. But being a prudent and responsible person, I never thought I should take every last nickel I had and throw it at ACM.”

Grayson, the liberal firebrand who once derided a GOP health-care proposal as the “die quickly” plan, was philosophical about the monetary loss. “I am really blessed, and I think it would be so wrong for me as a person to be so belligerent over money,” he said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis