WASHINGTON • Sen. Claire McCaskill has removed eight investment transactions that collectively added up to between $400,008 and $1.05 million from two years of her annual personal financial disclosure reports, saying they should have instead been listed as transactions of a family foundation she formed with her husband, Joseph Shepard.
One series of transactions removed was the purchase in 2014 and the sale in 2015 of between $15,001 and $50,000 in stock of Allergan, an opioid manufacturer that was one of five companies sued last week by the state of Ohio for contributing to an opioid crisis by failing to accurately describe the risks.
McCaskill had reported that her husband had received between $5,001 and $15,000 in capital gains on the stock. Those transactions also were reported in the foundation’s 2014 and 2015 filings with the Internal Revenue Service.
Because the transactions did not involve McCaskill’s personal holdings, they never should have been listed on her disclosure form, her spokesman and attorney said.
McCaskill, D-Mo., along with several other members of Congress, has made the opioid crisis a major focus. In March, she announced she was launching an investigation of five opioid manufacturers: Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Insys, Depomed and Mylan. She demanded internal documents on the companies’ marketing practices and suggested she could expand her probe to other companies.
Last October, her lawyer wrote the secretary of the Senate that McCaskill wanted to remove eight transactions from her personal financial disclosure form.
The disclosures are annual requirements of members of Congress, and they have shown McCaskill to be one of the wealthiest members. On them, members of Congress are required to disclose holdings and financial transactions across a broad range.
Besides the Allergan transactions, McCaskill’s lawyer, Kate Sawyer Keane, wrote that McCaskill wanted to remove four sales of stock in Clayton-based Enterprise Financial Services Corp., which collectively amounted to between $350,004 and $850,000. Also removed: the purchase and sale of pharmaceutical company Amgen stock, ranging between $15,001 and $50,000.
“These transactions were originally reported in error and were discovered in the process of reviewing the Senator’s annual public financial disclosure reports,” Keane wrote. “We are filing separate amendments to remove these transactions from the Senator’s public financial disclosure reports for calendar years 2014 and 2015.”
McCaskill’s spokesman, John LaBombard, provided links to Internal Revenue Service reports made by the foundation that showed the transactions in question. He said what was listed as gifts to the foundation from Joseph Shepard’s daughter, Marilyn — specifically the pharmaceutical stocks — and Shepard himself were mistakenly listed as personal holdings and transactions of McCaskill and her husband on her annual reports.
“As the documentation shows, this was a correction to a clerical error, plain and simple,” LaBombard told the Post-Dispatch. “These transactions were mistakenly included as personal transactions, and that was subsequently corrected.”
The erroneous filings were noticed in a review of McCaskill’s financial disclosure forms after she changed preparers, LaBombard said.
On Tuesday, after the Post-Dispatch asked about the amended personal disclosure reports, LaBombard said that McCaskill’s office also discovered that she had failed to report that she was on the board of her family’s foundation.
Keane was in the process of making that amendment to the Senate secretary late Tuesday, LaBombard said.
He said the Shepard family foundation was formed in 2013 as a way for family members to collectively donate. It has given “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to St. Louis-area and national charities, LaBombard said, including the St. Louis City NAACP, the University City Children’s Center and the Southside Early Childhood Center.