The New York Times
has an investigative look into Jeb Bush's sordid business dealings that reads a little like a white-collar thriller. The article details a number of instances where he appeared to trade on his name as a young business man (something he denies), his investments went belly up, and his business associates were accused of fraud.
Here's one excerpt from Steve Eder's reporting:
Mr. Bush’s association with the M.W.I. Corporation, a Florida company that makes water pumps, was emblematic of that period. The company eventually closed a deal with several state governments in Nigeria in a purchase financed ultimately with $74 million in loans from the Export-Import Bank of the United States. But the Justice Department would later sue, claiming that Mr. Bush’s partners hid commissions of roughly $25 million to a Nigerian middleman. Though Mr. Bush denied making money on the deal, his association with M.W.I. resulted in questions that have endured for over two decades, with Mr. Bush once telling a reporter the association brought “unmitigated grief.”
And here's a glimpse of how Jeb's associations sometimes became a headache for White House aides.
“We were all risk-takers,” said Hank Klein, one of Mr. Bush’s former real estate partners. “Everybody was, and that was exciting.”
But in Washington, those successes or failures at times resulted in enough questions for his father’s vice-presidential staff that his aides maintained folders of news clippings on Jeb Bush with instructions on handling certain queries, according to presidential archival records.
“Per Jeb — Don’t refer any more calls to Jeb on H.M.O.,” an aide wrote, in reference to questions about Mr. Bush’s work for Miguel Recarey Jr., who became a fugitive after he was indicted in 1987 on charges that his health maintenance organization defrauded the Medicare system. The aide’s notation was contained a copy of a file obtained from the George Bush Presidential Library.
Two years before then, Mr. Bush had called federal officials to request a fair hearing for the health organization on a regulatory concern. Mr. Bush has maintained that Mr. Recarey, a political contributor, did not pay him for lobbying, but for scouting real estate. Mr. Recarey, who lives in Spain, declined to comment through his brother, Jorge Recarey Sr., who was also an executive with the company.
If you feel like taking a guided tour of of Bush's past business practices, the story is here