Hillary Clinton in Aspen for Fundraiser with Former Goldman Sachs Executive

Robert Hurst attempted to evade $2 million in taxes on high-dollar art purchases

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton / AP
August 4, 2015

Hillary Clinton is in Colorado for a series of fundraisers Tuesday, including one at the Aspen house of a former Goldman Sachs executive who was once caught attempting to evade more than $2 million in taxes.

The campaign is asking for $2,700 to attend the "Conversation with Hillary" at the $12 million home of Robert and Soledad Hurst, who have been described as Aspen’s "power couple."

Robert Hurst worked at Goldman Sachs for 30 years and retired as a vice chairman in 2004. When the firm went public in 1999, Hurst was head of the investment banking division and held a $267 million stake.

In the same year that Hurst left Goldman Sachs, he came under investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for deliberately evading millions in taxes.

Hurst, well-known in the art community as president of the Whitney Museum’s board of trustees and for a gallery in the New York City museum that bears his name, was caught evading the sales tax on some of his most high-price purchases, according to the New York Times.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau accused Hurst of avoiding taxes by having the art he purchased in New York shipped commercially to his Colorado home to avoid New York’s taxes. He then loaded them onto his private jet to be returned to New York.

Hurst’s unpaid tax bill to New York was "at least $2 million," according to the report. Hillary Clinton represented New York in the U.S. Senate at the time.

When Morgenthau confronted Hurst, he gave him the opportunity to pay his outstanding tax bill and avoid prosecution. Hurst accepted the offer.

After Hurst left Goldman Sachs—a firm that has made itself Clinton’s second largest supporter with its $711,490 in contributions over her political career—he has maintained his political relationship with Clinton.

He is currently the director of VF Corporation, which has contributed $10,001 to $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation and has donated to the foundation in 2014. He is also on the board of directors at the Aspen Institute, which has also given money to the Clinton Foundation.

Goldman Sachs has contributed up to $5.25 million to the foundation, and has also funneled millions to both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the form of lucrative speaking fees.

Robert and Soledad Hurst have each contributed the maximum allowed $2,700 to her current presidential campaign.

Soledad Hurst, who also worked in investment banking, was honored by Clinton while she was secretary of state in 2010 in a video made to celebrate her career at FINCA, a multinational microfinance non-profit.

She was congratulated for her commitment "to a world where financial inclusion is a reality and every person is free to live up to his or her God given potential."

The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment.