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  • Coelho's Expo Filing Details Millions in Income

    Al Gore's campaign chairman Tony Coelho
    Tony Coelho, Vice President Gore's campaign chairman, listens to questions Wednesday about the details of the campaign's move to Tennessee. (Micheal Lutzky The Washington Post)
    By Charles R. Babcock
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, October 7, 1999; Page A17

    Tony Coelho, chairman of Vice President Gore's presidential campaign, reported last year that he had nearly $2 million in income in the previous 18 months and more than $55 million in assets--most of it in stock in a funeral home company--according to a financial statement he filed during his tenure as commissioner of the U.S. pavilion at the World Exposition in Lisbon.

    When he took over the Gore campaign last May, news reports described Coelho's business successes and failures in the decade since he resigned from Congress in 1989, based on interviews and documents from publicly traded companies. The filing he made in connection with the Lisbon Expo provides the first comprehensive account of his holdings at the time.

    The report was released by the Center for Public Integrity, a watchdog group that also made available last weekend a State Department inspector general's audit that criticized Coelho's management of the expo in Lisbon.

    Coelho's personal financial statement shows, for example, that he owned more than 1.2 million shares of Service Corporation International, a Houston-based funeral home firm on whose board he serves. At the time Coelho signed the disclosure statement, its stock was trading at $39 a share, making it worth nearly $49 million. It is not known whether he has sold the stock since. Yesterday it traded at less than $9 a share.

    Coelho also reported sizable stock holdings in Tele-Communications Inc. and Value Health, which was listed as a health maintenance organization. He also listed more than $2.5 million in bank accounts and a home in Bethany Beach, Del., valued at $2.5 million.

    His largest source of income during the reporting period--1997 and 1998 through the date of the June filing--was $574,180 in salary and consulting fees from TCI. He also reported income of $283,219 in board fees and stock distribution from the funeral home company and $227,705 from a legal settlement with Crop Growers Corp., a crop insurance company. Coelho is on the board and has had business dealings with Crop Growers.

    Coelho reported earning $221,000 in consulting fees from Fleishman Hillard, a public relations firm, and another $150,000 in consulting fees from the Dreyfus Charitable Foundation. He reported liabilities that could have totaled as much as $1.2 million for mortgages on his Bethany Beach home and farm and vineyard land he owns in California.

    Stanley Brand, Coelho's attorney, said yesterday that Coelho had sent a wire transfer for $119,000 to a bank in Portugal yesterday in final payment of a $300,000 loan he took out to finance a monument at the expo in Lisbon last year. The loan was criticized in the IG audit.

    Staff researcher Alice Crites contributed to this report.

    © 1999 The Washington Post Company

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