At least two ultra-wealthy businessmen with Hamptons homes reportedly received federal stimulus payments intended to help middle-class Americans struggling to make ends meet amid the coronavirus pandemic-induced economic downturn.
The pair, according to ProPublica, were Renco Group CEO Ira Rennert, who Forbes reports is worth $3.7 billion and owns a 63-acre oceanfront Sagaponack estate that’s one of the largest homes in the nation, and Joseph DiMenna, a $3.5 billion hedge fund manager and Managing Director of Zweig-DiMenna Associates, who has a home in Water Mill.
“The wealthy taxpayers who received the stimulus checks got them because they came in under the government’s income threshold,” reported ProPublica, which tallied 270 taxpayers who collectively disclosed $5.7 billion in income but still qualified for stimulus checks. “In fact, they reported way less taxable income than that — even hundreds of millions less — after they used business write-offs to wipe out their gains.”
Congress passed the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and several follow-up spending packages to quickly provide economic assistance for American workers, families, small businesses, and industries.
While some of those who received the payments later returned them, Rennert and DiMenna did not respond to requests for comment.