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Wilbur “Grifter” Ross may have stolen $120 million and a bunch of Sweet’N Low, report says

As the former “King of Bankruptcy” and a billionaire investor, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross likes a sweet deal. That apparently includes five-finger discounts on Sweet N’ Low, according to a new Forbes report.

Ross, whom Forbes estimates to be worth $700 million, would steal the artificial sweetener, which sells for about $10 for 500 packets, from restaurants so he didn’t have to buy them himself, two of his former colleagues told Forbes. But Ross’ transgressions also allegedly extend to large-scale gifting: He may have stolen or “wrongly siphoned” as much as $120 million over the course of his career, according 21 people who knew Ross, lawsuits, and even an SEC fine.

That makes Ross “among the biggest grifters in American history,” according to Forbes. One of his former colleagues even told the magazine that Ross is “a pathological liar.

One example of Ross’ methods: At WL Ross & Co., his private equity company, Ross was supposed to give at least half of certain kinds of money he made back to investors of the company — but he didn’t and would pocket it instead, according to SEC investigators. In other words: He defrauded clients, for which he later paid a settlement.

Others who worked with Ross claim that workers from his Hamptons home would call the office of and complain that the now-secretary of commerce never paid them for their services. And two more sources told Forbes that Ross simply never bothered to pay a $1 million charity pledge he made.

As the former “King of Bankruptcy” and a billionaire investor, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross likes a sweet deal. That apparently includes five-finger discounts on Sweet N’ Low, according to a new Forbes report.

Ross, whom Forbes estimates to be worth $700 million, would steal the artificial sweetener, which sells for about $10 for 500 packets, from restaurants so he didn’t have to buy them himself, two of his former colleagues told Forbes. But Ross’ transgressions also allegedly extend to large-scale gifting: He may have stolen or “wrongly siphoned” as much as $120 million over the course of his career, according 21 people who knew Ross, lawsuits, and even an SEC fine.

That makes Ross “among the biggest grifters in American history,” according to Forbes. One of his former colleagues even told the magazine that Ross is “a pathological liar.

One example of Ross’ methods: At WL Ross & Co., his private equity company, Ross was supposed to give at least half of certain kinds of money he made back to investors of the company — but he didn’t and would pocket it instead, according to SEC investigators. In other words: He defrauded clients, for which he later paid a settlement.

Others who worked with Ross claim that workers from his Hamptons home would call the office of and complain that the now-secretary of commerce never paid them for their services. And two more sources told Forbes that Ross simply never bothered to pay a $1 million charity pledge he made.

Ross has become a focal point for scandal in the Trump administration in recent weeks since the departure of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt last month. Pruitt resigned after dealing with near-constant controversy over his hiring and firing practices, excessive use of money on things he didn’t need, and — apparently like Ross in his stead — his grifting habits.

Cover image: Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross speaks to employees of the Department of Commerce in Washington, Monday, July 16, 2018, during an event attended be Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)