McCaskill's husband invested in hedge fund tied to Caymans

2 years 3 months 5 days ago Wednesday, June 20 2018 Jun 20, 2018 Wednesday, June 20, 2018 1:49:00 PM CDT June 20, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY (AP) - Four years after Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill co-sponsored legislation targeting tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, her husband began investing in a hedge fund tied to the Caribbean nation — an investment that has paid off handsomely.

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that Joseph Shepard has invested $1 million in Matrix Capital Management and that it has earned him between $230,000 and $2.1 million in income. The Star cited McCaskill's financial disclosure forms, which only show a range of income.

Shepard declined the newspaper's request for comment. He and McCaskill file their taxes separately.

McCaskill is running for re-election this year. Campaign spokeswoman Meira Bernstein said the senator has no involvement in her husband's investments.

"Claire does not make decisions on public policy based on what's best for her husband; she makes decisions based on what is best for the people of Missouri," Bernstein said in a statement. "That's why she voted against the recent tax bill that primarily benefited large corporations and the wealthy. And it's why she supported the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act."

If Shepard declares his investment on his taxes, the earnings would be subject to capital gains tax in the U.S., though the capital gains rate is lower than the income tax most working Americans have to pay.

But the National Republican Senate Committee said in a statement that while McCaskill's family "uses clever tax avoidance schemes to lower their own bill, the Senator continues to champion higher taxes for Missourians," citing her opposition to last year's tax cut bill.

Hedge funds are unregulated funds from wealthy investors and trade in everything from commodities to real estate and complex derivative investments. The private investment funds use sophisticated techniques to try to achieve higher returns than the stock market.

McCaskill co-sponsored the unsuccessful 2009 Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. The measure targeted the Cayman Islands among several countries identified as tax havens "engaged in economic warfare against the United States, and honest, hardworking Americans."

Had it passed, the legislation would have affected hedge funds located in the Caymans but managed and controlled from the United States.

McCaskill's financial disclosure forms identify Matrix Capital Management's location as Waltham, Massachusetts. The U.S.-based fund feeds into a "master fund" located in the Caymans, which makes the actual investments.

The structure is legal and common for hedge funds. President Donald Trump has investments in hedge funds that have similar structures, according to a personal financial disclosure form filed in 2015 during his presidential campaign.

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