Fox “News” host Sean Hannity’s network of 28 limited liability shell corporations, mostly based in Georgia, mirror those established by the Trump Organization, Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.
Hannity, who availed himself of the legal services of Donald Trump’s chief “fixer,” Cohen, uses the letters “SPMK” for his LLCs. SPMK stands for Hannity’s own name and those of his two children: Sean, Patrick, and Merri Kelly. The connection of Hannity’s non-profit Sean Hannity Foundation to his profit-making LLCs is very similar to the Trump Organization’s mixing of non-profit and profit-generating businesses.
The Sean Hannity Foundation and LLCs serving as umbrellas for residential properties in Georgia, New York, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, and Vermont are all located at the same address: 3735 Cherokee Street in Kennesaw, Georgia. This is also the address of LHLR Group, LLC, a financial advisory company operated by William “Bill” Lako and Gene Henssler, which includes Henssler Financial, Henssler Property Management, and Henssler Capital. Lako often appears on Hannity’s radio show dishing out tax advice. Lako’s name appears in Georgia corporate filings as the CEO and chief financial officer for several of Hannity’s shell companies. Lako is also an outspoken critic of Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
One of Hannity’s real estate purchasers, Jeff Brock of Key Properties, served a six-month federal prison term and paid $166,000 in fines and restitution for bank fraud and conspiracy to rig property foreclosure auctions between 2007 and 2012.
Hannity’s shell corporation artifices own some 900 properties across the United States. In 2014, Hannity received a $17.9 million guaranteed mortgage from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to purchase two apartment complexes in Perry and Brunswick, Georgia, that serve low-income families and senior citizens. The Hannity business template is similar to the web of LLCs that Jared Kushner uses for his ownership of low-income rental properties in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. In January of this year, a federal judge ruled that Kushner Companies could not keep secret the identities of its partners in 15 apartment complexes it owns in the Baltimore area. Similarly, Hannity and his Georgia business partners have been mum about their relationships.
Cohen has also utilized a network of LLCs, some co-owned by his wife, brother, and father-in-law that are involved in real estate ownership, taxi companies, and a casino cruise boat. Manafort, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law were also involved in jointly-owned LLCs that provided shells for real estate in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles.
Little is known about the Sean Hannity Foundation. In May 2015, after it was disclosed that ABC News “Good Morning America” co-host George Stephanopoulos had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, Hannity called it a “major scandal.” Hannity has since criticized the Clinton Foundation as a corrupt entity that politically benefits the Clintons. However, Hannity remains silent over the co-mingling of his non-profit foundation and business entities that are grabbing up foreclosed properties around the country. In Hannity’s world, it is only a scandal when a dodgy non-profit involves the Clinton and not when he has one that enjoys a dubious interlocking relationship with real estate ventures.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).