The Wall Street Journal has a nice long history of Brockman and how much of a scumbum he’s been for years. According to their reporting, a little over two decades ago, he was a Houston-based software entrepreneur being sued by a group of his salespeople who claimed he was hiding money in the Cayman Islands so as to skim off their commissions. That case was argued all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court and was reportedly settled in 2001, confidentially. It turns out, according to federal persecutors, this case was just the tip of the iceberg.
The allegations against Brockman center on his use of offshore entities to hide money. He’s also accused of working tirelessly to have records destroyed both physically and digitally as the walls began closing in on him. Prosecutors point to profits Brockman made out of his stakes in Vista Equity Partners, and it is not coincidence that Robert Smith, the chief executive of Vista reached a $140 million tax evasion, non-prosecution settlement with the government just one day before Brockman’s charges were announced. On a side note, Robert Smith made headlines for his very generous donation to pay off both the graduating Morehouse University college loans—as well as their parents’ loans, in 2019. It’s an important reminder that billionaires can do all kinds of nice-seeming, very easy for them to afford things while still belonging in prison for their sociopathic criminal practices.
The WSJ says that Brockman has “a reputation as a relentless litigant,” but legal experts also say the government’s evidence is “strong.” Brockman’s legal team is also making a play to argue that the elderly Brockman is suffering from dementia and therefore unable to take part in his own defense. They hope to have the case completely dismissed. Remember Vincente Gigante? He was a leader of the Mafia in the 1990s in New York City who pretended he was senile—frequently walking around his neighborhood in a bathrobe while conducting business. I don’t know why I thought about him. Anyway, back to Brockman.
CNBC reports that Brockman handed out $80,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and “Brockman also gave over $100,000 to entities linked to former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, including a six-figure check to the Wisconsin lawmaker’s now-defunct joint fundraising committee.” He also has given money to Paul Ryan’s Political Action Committee that is still active. Spread that money around. Mother Jones reports that Brockman was behind a boatload of money that pushed Romney’s 2012 run for president. At the time, years before this investigation into Brockman’s tax schemes came to light, Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy wrote “It’s also unclear why he [Brockman] would split the donations up among three separate companies.”
It might be that Brockman was just in the habit of making his finances seem unnecessarily complicated. Federal prosecutors are arguing that there was nothing unnecessary in Brockman’s complicated schemes. They were by design. The conservative groups who benefited from his crimes are conveniently quiet because, as Mitch McConnell has taught them, it is necessary that they hide where the money they use to misinform the public comes from.