Sean Hannity of Fox News (AP file photo)
Fox News host Sean Hannity reportedly received help from the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development to carry out multimillion dollar real estate deals.
The Guardian reported that Hannity is linked to a web of shell companies that spent at least $90 million buying more than 870 homes across seven states over the past decade.
Each company uses a variation of the same name mixed with the initials of Hannity’s children, the British newspaper reported. Properties are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Vermont.
The Fox News host bought two apartment complexes in Georgia in 2014 for $22.7 million, according to The Guardian, which said it reviewed thousands of pages of public records. HUD helped Hannity get mortgages worth $17.9 million to fund the purchases by insuring the loans under a National Housing Act program.
The loans, first guaranteed under the Obama administration, were recently increased by $5 million with renewed support from the Trump administration.
Hannity did not disclose any commercial relationship with HUD when interviewing its secretary, Ben Carson, on his show last June.
Christopher Reeves, Hannity’s real estate attorney, did not dispute the report in an email to The Guardian, describing Hannity’s holdings as highly confidential.
"I doubt you would find it very surprising that most people prefer to keep their legal and personal financial issues private," Reeves wrote. "Mr. Hannity is no different."
The Guardian report comes days after it emerged he is a client of Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer. He was named in court as a client of Cohen’s after a FBI raid of the lawyer’s office.
Hannity failed to disclose his relationship with Cohen, despite using his show to promote the president and defend Cohen multiple times.
The Fox News host has denied any formal relationship with Cohen, saying the two spoke about real estate matters.
"Michael Cohen never represented me in any legal matter… My discussions with Michael Cohen never rose to any level that I needed to tell anyone that I was asking him questions," Hannity said. "My questions, exclusively almost, focused on real estate. I said many times on my radio show, I hate the stock market. I prefer real estate. Michael knows real estate."