Representative Frank Mrvan said he was worth millions. He was wrong.

  • Rep. Frank Mrvan filed a financial statement with Congress stating that his net worth was over $50 million.
  • When Insider asked about his wealth, the congressman acknowledged that the disclosure was incorrect.
  • He told Insider he takes personal responsibility for what his office called a “data entry error.”

Freshman Rep. Frank Mrvan said in a congressional financial statement that he was personally worth tens of millions of dollars.

In reality, he is closer to bankruptcy.

Mrvan, a Democrat who represents Indiana’s 1st congressional district, last year declared in an annual financial communication that he owned a pension fund for public employees


annuity

is worth “more than $50 million”.

When Insider asked Mrvan about this asset, the congressman admitted that he made a mistake that led him to significantly inflate his total wealth.

His office attributed this to a “data entry error” – the holding is actually worth between $50,001 and $100,000.

Insider calculated that Mrvan’s new net worth was at least $100,000 in the red after subtracting his liabilities from his total reported assets.

Frank Mrvan Representative Financial Disclosure Form.

Rep. Frank Mrvan’s original, handwritten financial disclosure for 2020 incorrectly values ​​his “Indiana PERF pension” at “over $50,000,000.”

United States House of Representatives


“I am responsible for the actions of my office and take full responsibility for the honest data entry error on my financial disclosure form,” Mrvan told Insider. “The amount of the Public Employees Retirement Fund should have been in the thousands, not the millions. When it came to my attention, I corrected the form and resubmitted it to the House where it will be again made public.”

Mrvan declined to say who, specifically, was responsible for the error and how many months have passed without him or any member of his team noticing. He did not respond to a question about how he plans to avoid such a mistake in the future.

Members of Congress are required to submit an updated financial statement of their family’s assets, liabilities, and other personal finances annually, in accordance with federal law, including the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012. The Purpose : Building public trust through transparency. , limit insider trading and defend against potential financial conflicts of interest.

Insider’s recent “Conflicted Congress” survey, which looked at the financial disclosures of every member of Congress, found that at least 54 members of Congress recently violated the STOCK Act. But Congressional financial disclosures are not always rigorously reviewed for accuracy by government officials and are not subject to independent audits.

Mrvan originally appeared in an analysis of the 25 richest members of Congress, published as part of “Conflicted Congress”. Insider has now removed it from the list.

Delaney Marscothe senior legal counsel for ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, told Insider that some of the blame for the disclosure also lies with the House Ethics Committee, which does not publicly comment on specific financial records of members of the House. Bedroom.

“The ethics committee is supposed to review all financial information to make sure it’s timely, accurate and complete,” she said.

Given the wealth of many members of Congress, Marsco said it was not surprising that the error was not seen by the committee, since the high value of the asset may not have not noticed by reviewers.

Yet, she said, part of the error is that the committee relies on a “disclosure-only model,” in which the committee must have full confidence in the veracity of every disclosure.

Marsco also noted that Mrvan’s error could have been avoided if Congressional disclosures were, in general, structured differently: She suggested removing the requirement to file asset values ​​within broad ranges, providing instead a more accurate value for each asset.

“There are certainly logical reasons why we have ranges, but I wonder if it could have been avoided if he had been forced to say the exact amount of the asset,” Marsco said. “It’s much harder to misplace the zero if you round to the nearest tenth of a cent.”

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