Horsford funded ‘gifts’ to mistress from company account 

By: - July 16, 2020 5:26 am

Nevada Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford during an interview in January. (Nevada Current file photo)

Congressman Steven Horsford acknowledges he transferred money in 2019 from his company, Resources + Partners, to his then-mistress, Gabriela Linder, raising questions about the amount of outside income he is permitted to receive under House rules.

“As he has said before, any money provided to Ms. Linder were gifts sourced from personal income,” said Horsford’s Chief of Staff Asha Jones.

“We’re not talking peanuts,” said Linder, who declined to specify a total amount but provided the Current with money transfer app records reflecting several payments.  

The amount of the payments from Resource + Partners is redacted in the records.

Horsford admitted in May he had a consensual relationship outside his marriage when the Las Vegas Review-Journal identified Linder, who hosted a podcast under the pseudonym Love Jones, in which she talked about her alleged affair with an unidentified member of Congress. 

House Ethics rules limit the amount of outside income members may earn. The limit was $28,440 in 2019 and is $28,845 in 2020.

Horsford’s office did not say how much the congressman gifted to Linder but said it does not exceed the income threshold he is allowed by House rules.  The income, staffers say, will be reported on Horsford’s 2019 financial disclosure, which he has yet to file.

Horsford reported no outside earnings year-to-date on May 15, 2019, when he filed his 2018 disclosure.

Two payments to Linder — one in August 2019 and another the following month —  were made from Resources + Partners. Another payment reflected on the record from September 2019 was made directly from Horsford.

Linder says Horsford also funded gifts through the business account in 2020, but she did not provide evidence. 

“I’m saving specific details for the book,” she said. 

The federal government allows individuals to gift up to $14,000 a year tax-free.

Horsford founded Resources + Partners in December 2014, a month after losing his bid for re-election to Nevada’s Congressional District 4. He regained the seat in 2018 and is running for re-election.

“The Congressman has publicly disclosed his relationship with Resources+ LLC, which is confirmed as completely allowable under House Ethics rules for numerous reasons including that he did not take a salary,” Jones said in a statement.  She later added that “any compensation he received was below the permitted cap.”

Horsford’s congressional office defended his position as Managing Member of Resources + Partners, saying in a statement he has “no fiduciary relationships as the business is not currently in revenue” and “there are many examples of Members holding uncompensated positions that are allowable by ethics.” 

“In addition, the Congressman’s name has not been used in any solicitations and there were no conflicts of interest. On top of that, he recently ended his majority ownership of Resources+,” Jones said.

Until last week, the Nevada Secretary of State listed Horsford as managing member of Resources + Partners. 

Secretary of State corporate records indicate on July 7, after inquiries from the Current, Horsford was replaced as Managing Member of Resources + by Zelle Holdings, LTD, a Nevada corporation formed in Nov. 2019. The filing lists former MGM lobbyist Uri Clinton and Sabrena Clinton as Managing Members. Uri Clinton did not respond to phone calls. 

Horsford’s office says the timing of the Current’s inquiry and his removal as Managing Member is coincidental and that he has been in negotiations since February to transfer ownership of the company.  House Ethics permitted the transfer, according to Horsford’s office, because the congressman did not receive cash.

In professions involving fiduciary relationships, House rules prohibit Members from holding outside employment and earning income, and encourage a liberal interpretation of “fiduciary.” 

“As a general matter, the prohibition extends to consulting or advising on business matters,” according to a bipartisan task force. 

Horsford’s financial disclosure for 2018 says he performed media planning and buying services, as well as workforce diversity and training services for clients including MGM National Harbor in Maryland, MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, and UNITE HERE, the parent union of Culinary Local 226. 

He reports receiving $35,000 in “owner disbursement/earned income” in 2018, in addition to a salary of $72,005.

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.