May 6, 2021

Alan Grayson hearing: African masks, financial reports [Cayman Islands] top debate

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topic-peplt0000017585-thumbnailBy Elyssa Cherney and Steven Lemongello From Orlando Sentinel

Alan Grayson hedge fund also subject of extended ethics investigation in Congress

A collection of African masks drew debate Monday at a family court hearing between U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and his ex, months after the pair annulled their 25-year-relationship.

That artwork, which covers the living room walls in the Graysons’ Orlando home, was among other items the U.S. Senate candidate wanted Lolita Grayson to turn over — including financial records that detail his controversial Cayman Islands hedge fund.

Grayson, D-Orlando, is facing heat from members of his own party about the hedge fund, which was profiled in a New York Times article earlier this month and is now the subject of a U.S. House ethics investigation that was extended on Monday.

Monday’s hearing came at the tail end of the Graysons’ 2-year-long separation proceedings, which spotlighted the couple’s sometimes turbulent family life.

A Circuit Court judge annulled their marriage in July after finding that Lolita Grayson was still married when she tied the knot with the congressman in 1990. Lolita Grayson disputed those allegations, saying she got divorced in Guam a decade earlier but could not produce documentation to prove it.

Alan Grayson, who is running to win the Democratic nomination for outgoing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat, was not in court. Lolita appeared with a new attorney.

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc ordered Lolita to deliver the masks and financial documents within the next 20 days. Her attorney said he would arrange for the masks to be transferred and track down the financial records.

Grayson’s attorney, Kenneth Morse, said the congressman has sought these records since the proceedings began in January 2014.

Some information in those documents relates to The Grayson Fund, records say.

An index of the records Alan Grayson requested from Lolita references the Grayson Fund, LP and The Grayson Master Fund (Cayman), LP. One is listed with an equity of $8,016,580.02 and the other is listed with an equity of $8,021,901.23, both as of September 2013.

The fund, which specializes in opportunities in developing countries, had already been an occasional source of controversy for Grayson — a vocal liberal and foe of Wall Street excess — even before the Times article appeared Feb. 11.

The article cited marketing materials describing the fund as capitalizing on markets “in turmoil due to economic, political or natural disasters” and included a quote attributed to the Rothschild family that “the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” Grayson has disputed much of the Times article.

The next day, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said that Grayson should exit the Senate race, saying that “he has no moral compass. …These deeply troubling allegations should disqualify anyone from a seat in the U.S. Senate.”

Grayson has since closed the Cayman branch of the fund, according to the Times, and changed the name to The Sibylline Fund, LP.

On Monday, the Republican and Democratic heads of the U.S. House Committee on Ethics jointly decided to extend the ethics investigation into Grayson, which has been ongoing since Jan. 6.

The Committee pointed out that the fact the investigation was being extended does not reflect any judgment on the allegations. A decision on the issue is expected by April 5.

At future family court hearings in Orlando, the Graysons will argue whether either needs to pay for the other’s attorney fees.

The value of the masks was not listed in court filings.

The next court date will be set in 60 days for a status conference.

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