Politics

Trump Federal Reserve nominee Stephen Moore was held in contempt for shorting ex-wife on over $300,000 for child support, alimony, divorce

Key Points
  • Stephen Moore, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, was held in contempt of court for not paying his ex-wife more than $300,000 in alimony, child support and a divorce settlement, The Guardian reports.
  • Ex-wife Allison Moore had accused the conservative economics writer of subjecting her to "emotional and psychological abuse" to the point where she had to flee their Virginia home for her own protection.
  • "I think it [reinforces] how sleazy the media is resorting to tabloid journalism," Stephen Moore tells CNBC, adding that he did not believe the report would imperil his nomination.
Stephen Moore of The Heritage Foundation is interviewed by CQ in his Washington office, August 31, 2016.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

Stephen Moore, whom President Donald Trump nominated for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, in 2012 was held in contempt of court for not paying his ex-wife more than $300,000 he owed her in alimony, child support and a divorce settlement, according to a report from The Guardian.

The ex-wife, Allison Moore, also accused the conservative economics writer of subjecting her to "emotional and psychological abuse" to the point where she had to flee their Virginia home for her own protection, according to The Guardian's article, which cited divorce court records.

Stephen Moore, 59, ended up coughing up about two-thirds of what he owed Allison after a judge in 2013 ordered the sale of Stephen's house to satisfy his debts to her, The Guardian reported. The couple had three children together.

Reached for comment Monday about The Guardian's report, Stephen Moore told CNBC: "I think it [reinforces] how sleazy the media is resorting to tabloid journalism."

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Asked whether he was concerned that the revelations could hurt the chances of his nomination being approved by the Senate, Moore said: "No."

Stacey Chamberlin, a public affairs executive who is representing Stephen Moore, later sent CNBC statements from both him and from Allison Moore.

Stephen Moore said, "Allison Moore and I were married for 19 years and have three wonderful sons whom we have co-parented. Our divorce was settled amicably many years ago and we remain on friendly terms to this day. She is a terrific mother and I hold her in the highest regard."

"Allison, our kids and my current wife would hope that the media would please respect our privacy. I am happy to speak to the media on any matters related to the economy or my views on the Fed," Stephen Moore said.

Allison Moore, according to Chamberlin, said, "Steve Moore and I reconciled through our divorce many years ago and we would hope the media would respect our privacy. We remain on cordial terms."

David Roop, the lawyer who represented Allison Moore in her divorce, declined to comment.

A White House spokesman declined to comment to CNBC.

The Guardian, citing court records, said that Moore in a 2011 court filing admitted to all of the claims Allison Moore had made in her divorce complaint, which was granted that same year.

Allison Moore had claimed in her filing that the Heritage Foundation visiting fellow Stephen Moore had committed adultery during their 20-year marriage and that he talked about his relationship with another woman "openly and tastelessly" with Allison.

According to Allison's complaint, Stephen Moore once said to the Moores' children in front of Allison "at their son's graduation ceremony, 'I have two women, and what's really bad is when they fight over you.' "

Sherri Ann Wallmark, the woman identified in court filings by Allison as having a relationship with Stephen Moore, in an interview with CNBC denied knowing "him when he was married."

"That's not true," Wallmark said, when a reporter said Allison had accused Stephen Moore of committing adultery with Wallmark.

"His ex-wife is literally nuts," Wallmark said.

Allison's lawyer Roop declined to comment on Wallmark's remarks.

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Stephen Moore's spokeswoman, when asked about what Wallmark had said about Allison, referred to his statemen saying held his ex-wife "in the highest regard."

Court records posted online by The Guardian on Monday say that from Aug. 2012 through November 2012, Stephen Moore did not pay a total of nearly $75,000 in alimony payments, more than $6,000 in child support payments, and $220,000 he owed as part of a $519,000 divorce settlement he had agreed to with her.

A judge's order signed in March 2013 that was posted online by the newspaper shows the judge mandating that Moore satisfy the unpaid amounts also directs the court clerk to issue a so-called capias, or warrant, "for the arrest of Defendant Stephen Moore so that he may purge his contempt." There is no indication in the record that Moore was ever arrested.

The order indicates that under their property settlement in their divorce Moore owes Allison Moore $18,697.95 per month in spousal support for 10 years unless before that one of them dies or Allison remarries, or she co-habititates in a relationship analogous to marriage for a year or more.

The order also shows that Moore owed Allison Moore $1,572 per month in child support until the high school graduation of their youngest child provided that child is at least 18 years old. A 2004 article by Moore suggests that their youngest child has or will turn 18 years old this year.

Moore's spokeswoman Chamberlin did not immediate respond to a query from CNBC about whether he is up-to-date with those payments.

The Guardian earlier last week had reported that Stephen Moore has a $75,000 tax lien filed against him by the IRS for unpaid income taxes from 2014.

His current wife, Anne Carey, has said that the lien stems from Moore accidentally deducting both alimony and child support from his income tax filing that year, when he was only allowed to deduct alimony.

Moore has said that he overpaid his taxes in a subsequent year and that the IRS has failed to adequately respond to his efforts to resolve the dispute over what he actually owes.

Moore's Fed nomination has been controversial. Greg Mankiw, a former economics advisor to President George W. Bush, said Moore lacks the "intellectual gravitas for this important job."

CNBC had requested Moore's divorce case file on Friday, a day before The Guardian published its article about the case. On Monday, a clerk in the Fairfax County, Virginia, courthouse called a reporter to say the case file had been delivered to the court for inspection, but that shortly afterward a judge ordered the file sealed at the request of Allison Moore.

The case can now "only be viewed by the parties or the parties' attorneys," the clerk said.

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