Media outlets are unearthing a "real-estate empire" built by Fox News star Sean Hannity that includes major ties to Georgia.
Hannity, who started his career as a radio host in Atlanta, has 20 holding companies in Georgia that are part of a "real-estate empire worth tens of millions of dollars that spans at least four states and whose existence has remained hidden from the public behind anonymous shell corporations," according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Among Hannity’s holdings reportedly include an entire neighborhood of duplexes in Lithia Springs and apartment complexes in Athens, Brunswick and Gainesville. The Times reports that the companies all start with the same four letters — "SPMK," followed by Roman numerals. He also has ties to Atlanta financial firm Henssler Financial and William Lako, the story shows.
The Guardian reports that one of Hannity’s real estate ventures bought houses through a fraudulent property dealer. The publication cited country records showing a Hannity-linked company buying 11 houses in Georgia’s Fulton, Cobb, Clayton and DeKalb counties. Those homes had been purchased following foreclosures by Jeff Brock, who transferred the properties to corporate vehicles that sold them on to the Hannity-linked company at a profit, according to the report.
Hannity defended himself Monday, saying many of his rentals homes and apartments are in lower-income areas.
"It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money," Hannity said on his website. "The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about; except that obviously I believe in putting my money to work in communities that otherwise struggle to receive such support."
Hannity’s real estate ties to Georgia are coming into focus as media outlets dig into his relationship with Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Hannity’s popularity stems in part from his blue-collar persona and criticism of the Obama administration’s housing policies. However, the Times notes that Hannity’s holdings include a private helicopter and private jet registered at an airport 20 miles from Hannity’s mansion on Long Island. His companies also appear to have obtained mortgages insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Atlanta’s 25 Largest Residential Real Estate Companies
Ranked by 2017 Atlanta gross residential sales volume from closed transactions
Rank Company 2017 Atlanta gross residential sales volume from closed transactions 1 Keller Williams Realty – The Rawls Group $4.74 billion 2 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties $3.69 billion 3 Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners / Pinnacle Partners Group LLC $3.39 billion View This List