Elliott Broidy

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Elliott Broidy
Born1956/1957 (age 61–62) [1]
ResidenceBel Air, Los Angeles, California
EducationUniversity of Southern California
OccupationVenture capitalist
Political partyRepublican Party
Spouse(s)Robin Rosenzweig
Children3

Elliott B. Broidy (born 1956/1957) is an American venture capitalist, owner of a global security company, and major Republican fundraiser. From 2005 to 2008 he was finance chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). From 2017 to April 2018 he was a deputy finance chairman of the RNC, resigning from that role after The Wall Street Journal reported that he had been a party to a non-disclosure agreement with former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, under which he paid $1.6 million for her silence about a sexual affair between them.

Early life[edit]

Broidy is the son of Sherman G. Broidy (1924–2014), an educator and property developer, and Dorothy Horowitz.[2] Broidy is Jewish.[3]

He says he put himself through the University of Southern California (USC) "working as a commercial salmon fisherman". He "saved $10,000 and bought an East L.A. laundromat that he visited almost every day. It provided him steady income while at USC."[4] Broidy graduated from USC where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance.[5][6] He was a Certified Public Accountant from 1982 to 1993.[5][6][7]

Career[edit]

Professional activities[edit]

Broidy started his career in finance at Arthur Andersen. One of his clients, Glen Bell, the founder of Taco Bell, hired him to manage his personal investments. "The job turned Broidy into a rich man," according to the Los Angeles Times.[4] He was managing director at Bell Enterprises from 1982 to 1991.[6] In 1991, he founded Broidy Capital Management, an investment firm, serving as its chairman and chief executive officer.[5][6][8]

Broidy served as chairman of ESI Holdings, an event management firm.[5] He served as commissioner and chairman of the Alternative Investment Committee of the Los Angeles City Fire and Police Pension Fund from 2002 to 2009.[5][6][9]

In 2002, Broidy founded Markstone Capital, a private equity firm which invested in companies in Israel. The lead investor was the New York State Common Pension Fund.[5][6][10] The pension fund invested $250 million with Markstone.[11] Broidy later was accused of giving illegal gifts to pension authorities, several of whom went to prison. In exchange for his testimony against them, Broidy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid $18 million in restitution.[9]

Broidy owns the private security company Circinus LLC, which provides services to the United States and other governments. The company has hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts with the United Arab Emirates.[12] In 2018, Broidy intended to take a business trip with George Nader to meet with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in order to sell the prince a $650 million contract with Circinus. The plan fell apart when F.B.I. agents took Nader in for questioning upon his arrival at Dulles Airport.[13]

In addition to his other activities, Broidy was the executive producer of two independent films: Sugar and Snake and Mongoose (both 2013).[14]

Political and government activities[edit]

Becoming interested in politics after the 9/11 attacks, he joined the Republican Jewish Coalition[9] and ultimately became a member of the board of directors, a position he still holds as of 2019.[15] Between 2002 and 2004 he became a “Super Ranger", donating more than $300,000 to re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.[16] From 2004 to 2006 he raised campaign funds for many Republican candidates. In October 2006, he hosted a fundraiser for Bush, where US$1 million was raised.[17] Later that year, he was appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to the Homeland Security Advisory Council as well as the Terrorism Task Force and New Technology Task Force.[5][8][9] From 2006 to 2008, he served as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee (RNC).[18]

In 2016, Broidy served as a vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee between the Donald Trump campaign and the RNC.[19] In addition, he served as a vice-chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.[20] In April 2017, Broidy was named a national deputy finance chairmen of the RNC.[21]

In October 2017, in a private meeting with president Donald Trump, Broidy praised a paramilitary force his company Circinus was creating for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He urged the president to meet with the UAE's military commander Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, to support the UAE's hawkish policies in the Middle East, and to fire U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He was also harshly critical of Qatar, an American ally at odds with the UAE.[12][22]

Philanthropic and nonprofit activities[edit]

In 2006, Bush appointed him to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[23][8][9]

Broidy served on the board of governors and the endowment committee of Hebrew Union College and the board of trustees of the Hillel Foundation, as well as the Center for Investment Studies at the Marshall School of Business at his alma mater, the University of Southern California.[5] He served on the board of governors of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.[8][6] He was the 2008 recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Award by the Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States for his Jewish philanthropy.[24]

Controversies[edit]

Bribing of New York State Comptroller[edit]

In 2009, Broidy entered a guilty plea to a single felony count of attempting to provide excess gratuity to former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. The charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor[9][24][25] in exchange for cooperation that helped lead to the conviction of Hevesi and six other pension officials.[11][26] Broidy had provided $1 million in illegal gifts to New York State pension authorities. The gifts included luxury trips to Israel, payouts, and an undisclosed investment in a film produced by the brother of the chief investment officer of the New York State Retirement Fund. In exchange for the gifts, the state pension fund had invested $250 million with Markstone Capital Partners.[11][27] As part of the plea deal, Broidy paid $18 million in restitution of management fees paid by the pension fund to Markstone.

Ukraine investigation[edit]

Broidy is under a criminal investigation launched by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine for Broidy's June 12, 2014, deal to provide political support for VTB Bank and Investment Capital Ukraine (ICU), which acts as a financial advisor to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.[28][29] Broidy was to receive five payments of $2.5 million each through the British Virgin Islands firm with a Dubai address, Quillas Equities SA, which has Yuri Soloviev as a large shareholder according to the Panama Papers.[28][30] Yuri Soloviev is a member of the management board for VTB and is the first deputy president and chairman of its management board.[28][31] Yuri Soloviev's Quillas Equities has accounts in the Swiss Pictet Bank through which money transfers often occur to the VTB-owned bank in Cyprus, RCB Cyprus.[30]

1MDB[edit]

In March 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Broidy had been in negotiations to earn tens of millions of dollars by lobbying the U.S. Justice Department to drop its investigation into a multibillion-dollar graft scandal involving a Malaysian state investment fund, 1MDB, according to emails reviewed by the Journal. One email showed a proposal that would have given Broidy and his wife $75 million if they got the Justice Department to drop its probe into 1MDB. Broidy also prepared talking points for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to tell Trump during his 2017 visit to Washington, DC. This included playing up Malaysia's relationship with the U.S. in fighting North Korea and arguing against pursuing legal action against 1MDB.[32][33]

In November 2018, the New York Times reported that Federal prosecutors accused him of involvement in a scheme to launder millions of dollars into the United States to help Malaysian financier Jho Low end a Justice Department investigation into the embezzlement of billions of dollars from 1MDB.[34]

Lobbying on behalf of the UAE and Saudi Arabia[edit]

In March 2018, The New York Times reported that Lebanese-American businessman George Nader "worked for more than a year to turn Broidy into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to interviews and previously undisclosed documents. ...High on the agenda of the two men...was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the U.A.E."[13]

Recruiting international clients for Circinus[edit]

After Trump won the election, Broidy used his connections to the president to recruit international clients for his security business Circinus, promising that he could arrange meetings with Trump or other high government officials. He obtained defense contracts worth more than $200 million from the United Arab Emirates. Many of his clients had unsavory records.[35] He offered inauguration tickets to Denis Sassou-Nguesso, a Congolese strongman whose lavish lifestyle was paid by public funds. He arranged for an Angolan politician to meet with Republican senators and offered him a trip to Mar-A-Lago. Liviu Dragnea, a Romanian parliamentarian facing corruption charges, got to attend an inauguration party and pose for pictures with the president.[35] He reportedly offered to sell social media surveillance software, which can be used to identify political adversaries online, to the governments of Cyprus, Romania, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.[36]

Rick Gates payments[edit]

A July 2018 report revealed that Broidy had paid Rick Gates, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, at least $125,000 for “advice and business insight.” Gates had been indicted in October 2017 as a result of the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The payments began in March 2017 and went on until at least July.[37]

Hush money payment to Playboy model[edit]

On April 13, 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Broidy had a sexual relationship with Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, resulting in a pregnancy in late 2017.[38][39] The model later had an abortion. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen negotiated for Broidy to pay $1.6 million for the woman's silence. The settlement was falsely characterized at the time as a personal injury settlement.[40][41] In response to the Journal article, Broidy issued a statement acknowledging that he had had a "consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate", that Cohen had contacted him after being approached by the woman's attorney, Keith M. Davidson, and that Broidy had then hired Cohen to work out a non-disclosure agreement.[42] Broidy resigned his post at the RNC the same day the article appeared.[43] A few days later Cohen confirmed in court that Broidy was one of the three clients he had given legal advice to in the previous year.[44] Some columnists have since speculated that Donald Trump was really the person who had the affair with Bechard.[45][46][47] Broidy's lawyer, Chris Clark, stated that Broidy will withhold forthcoming payments to Bechard due to an alleged breach of the non-disclosure agreement on her part.[48] On July 6, 2018, Bechard filed a lawsuit against Broidy and the attorney Michael Avenatti, in relation to the cessation of the settlement payments.[49][50][51] Bechard has alleged in a complaint that Broidy was physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive of her, and that he exposed her to herpes.[52][53] Broidy has denied the allegations.[53] On September 7, 2018, California Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White granted Broidy’s request to strike allegations from the case going forward that were not relevant to the breach-of-contract dispute.[54]

Personal life[edit]

Broidy is married to Robin Rosenzweig, a JD, MBA who is a former senior executive of 20th Century Fox.[8][55] After residing in Holmby Hills, they moved to Bel Air in 2005. The couple have three children.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lifsher, Marc (November 27, 2012). "L.A. venture capitalist Elliott Broidy spared jail time". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "Sherman G. Broidy Obituary". Los Angeles Times. January 4, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  3. ^ (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), JTA. "Jewish Republican donor took $2.7m from UAE lobbyist to influence Trump – report". The Times of Israel. The Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Finnegan, Michael; A tale of two scandals, with a rich Trump donor, kickbacks and a Playboy playmate; LA Times; August 11, 2018; [1]
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "USC Marshall » Center for Investment Studies (CIS) » About CIS » Board of Advisors". www-marshall.usc.edu. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Elliott Broidy CPA: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  7. ^ DCA LICENSE SEARCH, DCA. "BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY". DCA LICENSE SEARCH. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "ELLIOTT BROIDY APPOINTED TO SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER BOARD OF TRUSTEES". Simon Wiesenthal Center. February 23, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Beckerman, Josh (December 3, 2009). "Just Who Is Elliott Broidy, Anyway?". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Lovett, Kenneth (November 27, 2012). "No jail time for Elliott Broidy, Israeli investor guilty of giving $1 million in bribes to officials". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Freifeld, Karen (November 26, 2012). "LA money manager gets no jail in NY corruption case". Reuters. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Mazzetti, Mark; Kirkpatrick, David D.; Haberman, Maggie (March 3, 2018). "Mueller's Focus on Adviser to United Arab Emirates Indicates Widening of Inquiry". The New York Times.
  13. ^ a b David D. KIRKPATRICK and Mark MAZZETTIMARCH (21 March 2018). "How 2 Gulf Monarchies Sought to Influence the White House". The New York Times.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  14. ^ Krantz, Michael (March 28, 2018). "How a little-known Republican fundraiser allegedly profited off Trump's presidency and worked to convince him to change US foreign policy in the Middle East". Business Insider. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Board of Directors". Republican Jewish Coalition. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  16. ^ Robbins, Tom (December 8, 2009). "The Peggy Lipton Affair Brings Down Another Mogul". The Village Voice.
  17. ^ Snyder, Gabriel (October 4, 2006). "Inside Move: H'wood picks side in campaign fund fight". Variety.
  18. ^ Butler, Desmond; LoBianco, Tom (May 21, 2018). "The princes, the president and the fortune seekers". AP News. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Announcement of 2016 Trump Victory Leadership Team". Gop.com. May 24, 2016. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  20. ^ McCaskill, Nolan D. (November 15, 2016). "Trump announces inauguration team leaders". Politico. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  21. ^ Hammond, Joseph (April 3, 2017). "Republican Party adds Experienced Fundraisers Ahead of 2018 Elections". American Media Institute.
  22. ^ Kianpour, Suzanne (March 5, 2018). "Emails show UAE-linked effort against Tillerson". BBC News.
  23. ^ "RNC Announces Additions To RNC Finance Leadership Team". Gop.com. April 3, 2017. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Karmin, Craig; Lattman, Peter (December 4, 2009). "Hevesi Linked to Pay-to-Play as Broidy Admits Guilt". The Wall Street Journal.
  25. ^ "Guilty Plea in Fraud Case Tied to New York Pension". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 4, 2009.
  26. ^ Lovett, Ken (November 28, 2012). "Investor Elliott Broidy Given Wrist Slap For Role In Pension Fund Scandal". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  27. ^ Avriel, Eytan (December 7, 2009). "Markstone Fraud Puts Legitimacy of Israel Funds Into Question". Haaretz.
  28. ^ a b c Thorne, Will; Jordan, Will (March 20, 2018). "Trump donor Elliott Broidy named in Ukraine criminal probe: Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy under scrutiny over alleged deal with sanctioned Russian bank VTB". Al Jazeera. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  29. ^ "Broidy Capital Management Consulting Agreement". June 12, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  30. ^ a b Bigus, Denys; Shleynov, Roman (April 5, 2016). "A high-profile Russian partner of Ukraine's top banker". OCCRP. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  31. ^ "Члены правления Банк ВТБ (ПАО)" [Members of the Management Board VTB Bank (PJSC)] (in Russian). VTB. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  32. ^ Hope, Bradley; Wright, Tom; Ballhaus, Rebecca (March 1, 2018). "Trump Ally Was in Talks to Earn Millions in Effort to End 1MDB Probe in U.S." The Wall Street Journal.
  33. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (March 3, 2018). "Trump ally reportedly in talks to earn $75 million if he could get the US probe into 1MDB dropped". CNBC.
  34. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (2018-11-30). "Trump Fund-Raiser Received Laundered Foreign Money, Prosecutors Say". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  35. ^ a b Vogel, Kenneth P.; Kirkpatrick, David D. (March 25, 2018). "Fund-Raiser Held Out Access to Trump as a Prize for Prospective Clients". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  36. ^ Biddle, Sam (June 22, 2018). "Trump Insider Wanted to Sell Social Media Surveillance Tools to Abusive Governments, Leaked Documents Suggest". The Intercept.
  37. ^ Sheth, Sonam; New report details extensive financial ties between Rick Gates and a top Republican fundraiser; Business Insider; July 25, 2018; [2]
  38. ^ Palazzolo, Joe; Rothfeld, Michael (April 13, 2018). "Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Negotiated $1.6 Million Settlement for Top Republican Fundraiser". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  39. ^ Ruiz, Rebecca R.; Rutenberg, Jim (April 13, 2018). "R.N.C. Official Who Agreed to Pay Playboy Model $1.6 Million Resigns". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  40. ^ Lee, MJ; Sara, Sidner; Scannell, Kara; Foran, Clare. "Michael Cohen facilitated $1.6 million agreement on behalf of GOP fundraiser". CNN. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  41. ^ Ballhaus, Rebecca; Bykowicz, Juliedate=April 13, 2018. "Elliott Broidy Quits RNC Post After Report on Payment to Ex-Model". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  42. ^ Nashrulla, Tasreem (April 13, 2018). "A Top GOP Official Admitted He Had An Affair With A Playboy Model And Gave Her Money To Terminate Her Pregnancy". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  43. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (April 13, 2018). "RNC fundraiser resigns after report of $1.6 million Playmate payoff". Politico. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  44. ^ Voreacos, David (April 16, 2018). "Cohen Says He Gave Legal Advice to Three Clients in Past Year". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  45. ^ Campos, Paul (May 8, 2018). "Theory: Playboy Model Who Got $1.6 Million Had Affair With Trump, Not Broidy". New York magazine. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  46. ^ Campos, Paul (May 22, 2018). "Here's More Evidence Broidy May Have Been Covering for Trump in Playmate Affair". New York magazine. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  47. ^ Bunch, Will (May 22, 2018). "Is this Playboy model keeping the biggest secret of the Trump presidency?". Philly.com. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  48. ^ Rothfeld, Michael; Palazzolo, Joe (July 1, 2018). "Top GOP Fundraiser to Stop Hush Payments Over Affair". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Now Mr. Broidy, who worked on the RNC with Mr. Cohen, will withhold the third installment of $200,000 that was due Sunday, in response to an alleged breach of the nondisclosure agreement, according to Chris Clark, a lawyer for Mr. Broidy.
  49. ^ Dillon, Nancy (July 6, 2018). "Ex-Playboy model sues Trump donor Elliott Broidy and Michael Avenatti over hush-money pact tied to secret pregnancy". NY Daily News. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  50. ^ Rothfeld, Michael; Palazzolo, Joe (July 6, 2018). "Ex-Playmate Files Suit Against GOP Donor Elliott Broidy Over Hush-Money Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 6, 2018.
  51. ^ Stris, Peter K.; Brannen, Elizabeth R.; Berkowitz, Dana; Stokes, John; Martin, Shaun P. (July 6, 2018). "PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONDITIONALLY SEAL THE COMPLAINT FOR 45 DAYS" (PDF). Stris & Maher LLP via The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 7, 2018.
  52. ^ The Associated Press. "Ex-Playboy centrefold says fundraiser for Trump urged her to get abortion". CTV News. A former Playboy model's lawsuit against a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump and other Republicans revealed embarrassing details of their sexual affair and said she feared for her safety after he impregnated her, according to previously censored allegations unsealed Friday.
  53. ^ a b Ali, Yashar (September 7, 2018). "Ex-Mistress Accuses Longtime RNC Leader Elliott Broidy Of Physical, Sexual Abuse, Complaint Shows". The Huffington Post.
  54. ^ Petterssen, Edvard; GOP Fundraiser Elliott Broidy Accused of Coercing Woman Into Having Abortion; Bloomberg; September 7, 2018; [3]
  55. ^ Davis, Patti (March 18, 2001). "Battle Takes Shape in the Toniest of War Grounds". Los Angeles Times.