While it may come as a shock to liberals, it looks as though Donald Trump may not be the only one seeking to do everything legally possible to relieve their tax burden. And while Trump's business performance from his decades-old tax filings made national news yesterday, another well-known name – Warren Buffett – stayed under the radar while quietly disclosing that his company had been defrauded to the tune of hundreds of millions while seeking tax benefits.
Berkshire Hathaway is claiming that it got fooled after taking a $377 million charge in Q1, according to Bloomberg. Buffett's company invested hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-equity investment funds tied to a company that federal authorities are now saying engaged in fraud, according to Berkshire's first quarter filings.
“In December 2018 and during the first quarter of 2019, we learned of allegations by federal authorities of fraudulent income conduct by the sponsor of these funds. As a result of our investigation into these allegations, we now believe that it is more likely than not that the income tax benefits that we recognized are not valid.”
And Berkshire Hathaway isn’t the only company claiming it was duped: names like Progressive and East West Bancorp, have also claimed to be hurt by investments related to DC Solar.
The solar company allegedly promoted its ability to provide "very favorable tax consequences" to lure in investors. Law-enforcement searched a business tied to the case in December and wound up concluding it was a "ponzi-type investment fraud scheme".
The $377 million charge is still a drop in the bucket for Berkshire, who currently holds a $190 billion stock portfolio.