Robert Mercer, the billionaire hedge-funder who has been catapulted into the spotlight as the money behind Breitbart and other right-wing organizations that roiled the 2016 election, features prominently in the newly leaked Paradise Papers.
According to the Guardian, public filings show the Mercer family “built a $60m war chest for conservative causes inside their family foundation by using an offshore investment vehicle to avoid US tax.”
The vehicle was based in Bermuda, a famed tax haven in the Atlantic, and involved eight companies all directed by Mercer, which “appear to have been used to legally avoid a little-known US tax of up to 39% on tens of millions of dollars in investment profits amassed by the Mercer family’s foundation.”
That foundation used its vast war chest to fund a number of Steve Bannon’s media projects — from Breitbart to his books attacking Hillary Clinton — as well as President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Mercer was thrown into an unflattering limelight recently, after a Buzzfeed exposé detailed how his funds were used by Breitbart and its former tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos to essentially launder and promote white supremacist and nationalist ideas.
Since, Mercer has denounced Yiannopoulos, distanced himself from Bannon, and sold his stake in Breitbart to his daughter, Rebekah. He also stepped down as co-CEO of his hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies LLC.
Read the full Guardian report here.
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