Stephen Moore, Donald Trump’s contested election to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, has underpaid his ex-wife’s alimony bills for years, leaving them out of pocket by tens of thousands of dollars.
Moore has continued to pay Allison Moore significantly less than was required under her 2011 divorce settlement, according to a source familiar with the arrangements.
The underpayment persisted even after Moore was found in Virginia in 2012 for disobeying the court and was on the verge of having his home confiscated after paying Allison Moore no more than $ 300,000 that he owed her at the time.
A spokeswoman for Moore said he declined to comment.
The new insight could add an additional barrier to Moore’s selection by Trump for a position in the world’s most powerful central bank. The 59-year-old business commentator has to be confirmed in his role by the US Senate.
Senate Banking Committee officials who would consider his appointment are investigating the discovery of Moore’s underpayment, according to a source with knowledge of their work.
The Democrats already asked Moore for detailed information on his finances after the Guardian released reports of violations of court rulings against him and that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prosecuted him for more than $ 75,000 in federal taxes. Moore has now paid the tax bill.
The White House has announced that it will look into a number of controversial statements made by Moore in interviews and published articles criticized by several Republican senators.
Moore has dismissed any results as irrelevant to his suitability for the Federal Reserve job, which typically has a 14-year tenure. With the support of Fox News and other pro-Trump media outlets, Moore has described the coverage of his financial and legal troubles as “hideous and vicious and devious” and promised to continue his nomination.
Allison Moore declined to comment through her lawyer. In a statement by the Stephen Moore spokeswoman, she previously said of their relationship: “We remain in cordial relationships.”
Court records released to the public following legal action taken by the Guardian and other news outlets said Moore agreed in 2011 to pay Allison Moore $ 18,698 a month for spousal support and $ 1,572 a month for their youngest child, graduating from high school.
But Moore soon failed to pay, according to court records, and was found in November 2012 for disobeying the court with an outstanding bill for more than $ 300,000. Moore continued to fail to pay his ex-wife, and the amount he owed rose to $ 330,000.
In early 2013, a judge ordered Stephen Moore’s home in Falls Church, Virginia, to be sold to pay off the debt. A court officer accompanied by four police officers broke into the property to prepare it for sale. But that process was stopped by Allison Moore when Stephen Moore finally paid her part of his debt.
A source familiar with the Moore’s agreements, who declined to be named on personal matters, said Stephen Moore has often paid Allison Moore about $ 12,000 a month since then – a shortfall of about $ 8,000 a month.
When asked about the underpayments, a Stephen Moore spokeswoman cited an earlier statement in which Moore said, “Our divorce was settled by mutual agreement many years ago and we are on friendly terms to this day.”
Allison Moore has never specifically agreed to be underpaid, the source said, but has not yet taken legal action against her ex-husband to claim the outstanding funds. She is believed to have denied Stephen Moore’s 2015 requests to formally approve the reduced payments. Stephen Moore bought a $ 1.3 million home in Maryland that year just before he married his second wife, Anne Carey.
Senators will likely seek guarantees from Moore that he has always reported to the IRS his actual spousal support payments, rather than the higher amount he had to pay, and that Moore’s mortgage lender was presented with accurate child support figures in 2015. Moore borrowed more than $ 960,000 to buy a home, according to the county. Moore has denied any wrongdoing.
Moore said the IRS’s $ 75,000 request was made because he mistakenly deducted child support payments from his 2014 income tax bill. While spousal maintenance payments are deductible, child benefit payments are not deductible. Moore recently said he had settled the dispute and court records show the case is closed. He and his current wife claim they paid too much tax separately and say they owe money from the IRS.
The Moore’s 2011 divorce settlement states that all spousal and child support required by Stephen Moore could be reduced if his income falls below $ 350,000 a year.
Moore’s spokesman didn’t want to say whether his income has dropped to that level since the divorce. In an interview last month, Moore said that taking on the job at the Federal Reserve would result in a 68% pay cut, suggesting his current annual income is more than $ 570,000.
Allison Moore’s divorce suit accused Stephen Moore of adultery and emotional and psychological abuse. Stephen Moore later said in an October 2014 article that “intact families” are important to the US economy and criticized “those who hail divorce as a form of women’s liberation”.
At the end of his article, Moore called for “personal and national commitment to stable families” and strong parenting as part of a “culture of virtue” aimed at keeping the American economy from falling.