Wilbur Ross misled Forbes about his wealth, taken off list


By Stelios Orphanides

Bank of Cyprus’s former vice president Wilbur Ross, appointed secretary of commerce by US President Donald Trump earlier this year, may not be as wealthy as initially thought, a report on Forbes’ website suggests.

Forbes which listed Ross, who led a group of US investors in participating in Bank of Cyprus’s 2014 capital increase, in its list of billionaires, decided to remove the investor after his financial disclosure forms showed his fortune was worth $700m (€605m), instead of a previous estimate of $2.9bn, Forbes reported.

Ross, it added, even disputed the latter figure and said that he was worth €3.7bn.

The Forbes story came days after new revelations of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) showed that Ross stood in a business relationship with a company owned by Russians with links to President Vladimir Putin.

Ross said that he had transferred the missing $2bn of his wealth after last year’s presidential election and before he was nominated as secretary of commerce, to trusts for his family which he was not obliged by law to disclose and declined to provide documentation citing “privacy issues,” Forbes reported adding that it embarked on a month-long investigation which failed to corroborate Ross’s version of the story.

“That money never existed,” Forbes said. “It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004. In addition to just padding his ego, Ross’s machinations helped bolster his standing in a way that translated into business opportunities”.

The full Forbes story, dated November 7, is available here.


About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Neroli

    Seems he is no different to others here who have been President of BoC

    • Bob Ellis

      Most senior people in Cyprus are in it for themselves, I think their was a large agenda involved here. I’m sure his name will be linked to others words like Putin, Trump, US elections, impeachment and suspicious funds.

  • Bob Ellis

    I suspect more stories of Mr Ross’s antics will be forthcoming in the next few days, with Cyprus and the BoC being at teh heart of it.

    • Neroli

      Those books definatley need going through at BoC!

  • Didier Ouzaid

    Here you got MPs, Ministers and a President that do everything they can to hide or misrepresent their wealth on the down low (2 limassol flats worth 66k? really, Nicos? And how about the head of a major party that has 7m+ in real estate and 850 euros in bank deposits?), over there they’re inflating the numbers and fighting for it (all the way to the President, that will almost sue any publication that says he’s not worth his alleged 4bn).

    Communism vs Capitalism, I guess…