Charlie Rangel "Forgets" Where He Lives

By Jennifer Millman
|  Saturday, Aug 29, 2009  |  Updated 10:52 AM EDT
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Charlie Rangel "Forgets" Where He Lives

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Now where's my primary residence, again?

Oh, Charlie. The embattled congressman, who has been under scrutiny for failing to disclose his personal assets and forgetting to pay some taxes, also apparently got a few things wrong on his mortgage papers, according to a published report.

Rep. Charlie Rangel said on his mortgage papers that a Harlem brownstone was his primary residence, but he was really living somewhere else at the time, reports The New York Post

When the Democrat, who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee, took out the mortgage nearly two decades ago, he claimed the West 132nd Street property was his "principal residence," according to the Post, which cites records.

But that's simply not the case. Since the 1970s, Rangel has been living in a Harlem apartment complex, where he wrongly obtained four rent-stabilized units.

New York law mandates that rent-regulated apartments be the tenant's primary residence, but Rangel's mortgage agreement with Citibank states that he'd live for at least six months a year at the property on 132nd street.

Hmmmm...

Lenders say it's fraudulent to claim primary residence in one place when you actually spend more time in another, reports the Post. Property owners get better interest rates, lower down payments, and often tax breaks. A Citigroup spokesman had no comment.

Speaking of taxes, Rangel is accused of failing to reveal personal assets totaling as much as $780,000, new records show. The congressman is the powerful chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax code, making the blunder that much harder to believe.

Rangel's ownership of the small, undeveloped properties came to light on Tuesday only after he drastically amended at least six years of financial-disclosure forms he had filed annually with the House clerk as required by law, the Post reported.

An amended report to his 2007 Congressional disclosure form indicates that Rangel's assets include a checking account with a balance between $250,000 and $500,000.

Rangel also didn't confess up to at least five other investments. One of those, with the ING Principal Protection Fund, was valued at between $50,000 and $100,000, the Post reported.

Rangel aide Elbert Garcia said that the amendments were the congressman's attempt to fix errors in his financial reporting.  Some Republicans said that the new disclosures demonstrate the need for Rangel to be removed from his chairmanship.
    
Two House subcommittees are investigating Rangel's financial dealings.

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