Sometimes there is nothing like a good fantasy, movies like Princess Bride, Wizard of Oz are classics for children and adults alike. Fantasy is not supposed to be a way to describe the reports filed by politician, but in the case of Charlie Rangel, chairman of the house Ways and Means committee fantasy is the only way to describe them.
Much has been written about Rangel’s revised financial disclosure form and all that new income that mysteriously turned up in his latest report. One of Rangel’s properties that was was shown to earn income in Charlie’s revised report, but in the period before the revision, Rangel reported no income, even though there are tenants who claimed they lied in the property and paid rent at the time:
By ISABEL VINCENT and MELISSA KLEINtake our poll - story continues below
Last Updated: 10:13 AM, September 13, 2009
Posted: 3:28 AM, September 13, 2009
Rep. Charles Rangel reported no rental income for eight years on his rundown Harlem row house, even though public records show tenants were living there.
The powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said he received nothing from 1993 to 2000 on the six-unit building, according to federal financial disclosure forms.
But one current tenant told The Post she had lived at the building for 20 years — and paid rent during that period.
Another said her former boyfriend called 74 W. 132nd St. home for many years, paying about $500 a month in rent.
While Rangel claims to have taken in not a dime in eight years, at least four tenants lived in the building during that time, The Post found.
His nephew, Christopher Rangel, still lives there.
The Democratic lawmaker, who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee for a laundry list of alleged financial misdeeds, has had a hard time keeping his story straight on the apartment building.
Rangel’s grandfather bought the red-brick house in 1923. Rangel’s sister transferred the property to the congressman’s wife, Alma, in 1973 for $10,000, city records show. Rangel sold it in 2004 for $410,000 — a hefty profit — to the First AME Church Bethel.
He filed amended disclosure forms last month showing that in 2004 he failed to reveal between $500,001 and $1 million in capital gains and rent from the building.
Rangel’s reporting of his yearly rental income for the building has swung widely — from nothing to up to $50,000, the federal disclosure forms show.
* In 1987, he claimed the building brought in between $5,001 and $15,000.
* In 1991, he amended his 1990 form to say the property produced a loss.
* Less than a month later, he said the gross rent was between $15,000 and $50,000, the same amount he reported in 2002.
* In 1993 and 1994, he failed to enter anything about the property’s income.
* From 1995 to 2000, he checked a box to show he earned no income.
* In 2001, Rangel claimed income for the building, reporting between $2,501 and $5,000 a year. He did the same in 2002 and 2003, then amended the reports to show income between $15,000 and $50,000.
Even if expenses on the building brought his take to nothing in certain years, he was required to report the gross rent.
A Rangel spokesman did not directly address the apparent lapses in the congressman’s rental record, saying the lawmaker had taken care of any mistakes on his disclosure forms by filing amendments last month.
But the amendments covered only 2002 to 2006, not the eight years when he claimed no rent. The amendments revealed his failure to report millions of dollars in assets.
Last year, The Post revealed Rangel’s failure to declare $75,000 in rental income on his villa in the Dominican Republic.
The Ethics Committee is also taking a hard look at Rangel’s claim on a 1989 mortgage document that the row house was his primary residence.
As The Post reported last month, Rangel was then living across the street in at Lenox Terrace. He also, at that time, claimed a primary residence in Washington.