Herschel Walker Claims to Own Companies That Don’t Exist

Former NFL star Herschel Walker has made tens of millions in business ventures since he retired in 1997, and he claims to be price greater than $29 million immediately.

But regardless of that success, the Republican Senate hopeful and longtime pal of Donald Trump has, for no matter purpose, chosen to dramatically inflate his business document, in accordance to a Daily Beast investigation. In doing so, Walker has established a parallel document of demonstrably false claims, lots of which seem to bear no resemblance to actuality in anyway.

While Walker’s business document has been picked over earlier than—together with in an Associated Press evaluate of “exaggerated claims of economic success”—The Daily Beast has reviewed paperwork and different data that shine new mild on beforehand unexamined, and significantly egregious, false claims.

Those claims embody running the biggest minority-owned meals firm within the United States; proudly owning a number of hen crops in one other state; and beginning and proudly owning an upholstery business which was additionally, apparently, at one level in his telling, the nation’s largest minority-owned attire firm.

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While the chasm between Walker’s imaginative and prescient and actuality usually seems staggering—and applies not simply to business however to a number of dimensions of his private life as properly—he could be taking part in quick and free with the idea of “possession.” But it’s unclear whether or not he transposed this fanciful construction onto his candidate monetary disclosure, which claims a internet price of between $29 million and $65 million, and which, in accordance to a Georgia Public Broadcasting report, deserves additional scrutiny.

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Herschel Walker walks off the stage throughout a rally that includes former US President Donald Trump on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia.

Sean Rayford/Getty

The claims about the upholstery business seem significantly divorced from the reality, as that business, as Walker describes it, doesn’t seem to exist.

According to a evaluate of business data, that firm—both Renaissance Manufacturing or Renaissance Hospitality, relying on the telling (although each at the moment are dissolved)—was not his in any widespread sense of possession; it was a part of a business association with the true proprietor.

That reality didn’t deter Walker from boasting time and again that it was his firm, repeatedly implying sole proprietorship—even saying as just lately as a speech this February that he “started” the business.

“I started this little [inaudible] material firm, the place I nonetheless have about 250 those who sew material and bedspreads for me,” the previous Olympic bobsledder advised an viewers on the University of North Texas on Feb. 10.

Two days earlier than that, he advised WRGA radio, “I constructed my very own business, a really profitable business, two businesses, a matter of reality, that I constructed them…. additionally within the material business, I constructed that one up as properly.”

In a 2020 interview, Walker claimed he ran “the biggest minority-owned attire firm.” He added that “we do drapers and bedspreads” and “have 280 ladies in Greer, South Carolina.”

In 2018, Walker advised Fox Business he nonetheless was linked to an upholstery firm. But in accordance to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he had peeled away from his business deal the 12 months prior.

Two years earlier than that, Walker advised the Dum Ass Club point-blank that he had the “largest upholstery firm within the United States,” a declare so absurd it barely deserves fact-checking.

Similar statements pop up time and again, going again a number of years. And even immediately, the website for his firm—H. Walker Enterprises LLC—lists “textile fabrication” amongst its areas of experience, claiming the “HWE and Renaissance Hospitality gives main accommodations, eating places and hospitals with customized material bedding, material and window remedies.”

It’s unclear, nonetheless, what business Walker is referencing, as a result of Renaissance Hospitality dissolved final 12 months. Walker additionally isn’t on the articles of dissolution; his pal and former business associate, George Mappin, is.

In reality, Walker’s mysterious claims about the upholstery firm, which he “started,” seem to reference a now-defunct monetary settlement he as soon as had with Mappin’s different firm, South Carolina-based Renaissance Manufacturing. But that firm additionally dissolved final 12 months.

And whereas Renaissance Manufacturing’s “about” web page calls Walker “an ideal asset,” the identical web page notes, in reference to the Mappin clan, that the corporate “has been a family-owned business for 5 generations.” The Mappin household additionally lays declare to Renaissance Hospitality in filings with the Security and Exchange Commission.

(In 2005, Mappin launched into one other three way partnership with Walker, referred to as Sunutra, an organization that might promote fruit and vegetable extracts for injection in different meals. Or, as Mappin put it to the Augusta Chronicle in 2005, “you possibly can eat a hen patty and get 5 doses of vegatables and fruits on the identical time.”)

But The Daily Beast has discovered that Walker’s identify doesn’t seem on South Carolina business data related to both Renaissance Manufacturing or Renaissance Hospitality. And data with Spartanburg and Greenville County replicate the identical for deeds, mortgages, and liens.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution additionally reported that Walker’s involvement with Renaissance Manufacturing ended after a financial institution dispute in 2017. And as a result of each corporations have since dissolved, it’s in no way clear what entity Walker was referencing on Feb. 10 when he mentioned, “I nonetheless have about 250 those who sew material and bedspreads for me.”

The Daily Beast requested a Walker marketing campaign spokesperson a number of instances what firm he was speaking about, however didn’t get a response.

Of course, Walker’s idea of possession seems to have all the time been free.

For occasion, the Heisman winner has—like his good pal Donald Trump—repeatedly inflated the size and income of one other firm, Renaissance Man Foods, together with in statements on the marketing campaign path.

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Herschel Walker and former president Donald J Trump maintain a Save America rally in Perry, GA, United States on September 25, 2021

Peter Zay/Anadolu Age infoncy by way of Getty

Over the years, Walker has claimed quite a few instances, falsely, that Renaissance Man is the biggest minority-owned meals business within the nation. And since launching his Senate bid final August, he’s mentioned it was both the nation’s largest minority-owned meals firm, meals service firm, or hen distributor at the very least 5 instances. On Feb. 24, he advised Savannah’s Fox 28 it was certainly one of his high {qualifications} for the Senate.

“Well, individuals want to know about me. They know I’m a winner. They know what I work. Well, individuals want to know I started an organization. People simply consider me as a soccer participant. I started an organization that turned the biggest minority-owned meals firm within the United States,” Walker mentioned.

In October, he advised a UFC-themed podcast, “I personal a meals firm—that’s going to freak you out—I personal the biggest minority-owned meals firm within the United States.”

The Daily Beast’s evaluate exhibits that that is nowhere close to correct.

Walker, who claims to have additionally performed Russian roulette half-a-dozen instances, has by no means made the Fortune 500 reduce, which has featured solely 19 Black CEOs, ever. And Renaissance Man doesn’t seem in an inventory of the biggest 100 black-owned businesses within the nation, maintained by Black Enterprise journal.

Those 100 corporations dwarf Renaissance Man. The largest within the meals business, Kentucky-based Bridgeman Foods, ranks sixth general, with a reported $870 million in income and 20,000 workers. The seventh-largest general, Thompson Hospitality, claims to be the “​​largest minority-owned meals and amenities administration firm within the United States,” and in 2019, it reported greater than $800 million in income. Fair Oaks Farms, quantity 11 general, is—like Walker’s firm—additionally within the poultry business. (Coca Cola Florida tops the checklist, however as a subsidiary of the bigger company.)

By the Black Enterprise checklist, Walker’s firm isn’t even the biggest Black-owned meals firm in Georgia. That can be Smyrna-based TME Enterprises, 68th on the checklist with greater than 680 workers and $40.7 million in income.

Asked for remark, a Walker marketing campaign spokesperson replied, “That checklist you despatched is black owned businesses, not particular to the meals service business as Herschel has been constant in speaking about.”

The Daily Beast replied with a link to the Fox 28 interview, and identified that the checklist consists of Black-owned meals corporations.

The spokesperson replied that, “This story has already been written repeatedly by FinalNews24 and others, like The Daily Beast, who need to assist Raphael Warnock get re-elected—you’re a pair months behind.”

While FinalNews24 doesn’t seem to have damaged any news about Walker business claims (AJC and the Associated Press have), the cable community did just lately report that he has overstated his tutorial document for years.

“Herschel got here from nothing, constructed one of many largest minority-owned meals service corporations within the United States and has lived the American Dream,” the spokesperson added, altering the declare. “That’s referred to as a success story, except, in fact, you’re a Republican running for Senate.”

The Daily Beast requested the marketing campaign for proof to assist the declare that the corporate ranks among the many largest in that minority-owned class, however as of publication didn’t obtain any.

According to a Jan. 2021 press launch from the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian-owned businesses dominate the Accommodation and Food Services sector amongst minority teams, with $863.3 billion in income.

TME Enterprises would, nonetheless, seem to grasp with Walker’s personal depictions of Renaissance Man Foods, which has diversified wildly relying on the context.

The Associated Press reported that, in current interviews, Walker has touted annual revenues between $70 million and $80 million. But The Daily Beast obtained a deposition in federal courtroom from 2019, the place Walker pegged the mixed internet earnings of three associated entities—Simmons Foods, Renaissance Man Foods, and H. Walker Enterprises—at $14 million. Further, that quantity was unfold out between 2009 and 2017, for an annual common of about $1.5 million.

The AP additionally reported that Walker’s declare contradicts what he advised the federal government in forgivable pandemic mortgage purposes.

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Herschel Walker attends a soccer recreation on September 11, 2021 in Athens, Georgia.

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Renaissance Man Food reported eight workers on these paperwork—nowhere close to the 600 he advised Fox Business in 2018—and obtained a complete $180,000 in loans. Walker’s candidate monetary disclosure exhibits he drew a $100,000 wage from the corporate.

But it’s unclear whether or not Walker blurred any strains of possession in his monetary disclosure.

I don’t imply to converse of ‘personal’ in a technical sense.

Herschel Walker

The hen firm, as an illustration, isn’t a tip-to-tail operation, however acts as a intermediary between different providers. Walker seems snug absorbing their stats into his personal. For occasion, the AJC reported that, in a 2018 lawsuit in opposition to his firm, he revised his repeated statements about proudly owning three hen crops in Arkansas, explaining they belonged to a associate firm.

“I don’t imply to converse of ‘personal’ in a technical sense,” Walker mentioned in that deposition.

This comports with The Daily Beast’s evaluate of Arkansas company and actual property data, which present that Walker and his proprietary corporations by no means established themselves or owned property within the state.

These are by far not the primary specious business claims linked to Walker, which vary from the intense to the weird.

The Daily Beast beforehand reported that the two-time Pro Bowler as soon as hawked a “dry mist” COVID remedy that might “kill any COVID in your physique”—one other echo of Trump, who floated the unscientific and harmful inside use of disinfectants as a COVID prophylactic a couple of months earlier than Walker’s pitch.

And The Daily Beast has additionally reported that his son, Christian Walker, slings “All American” attire made abroad.

Despite Walker’s checkered business document—the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer just lately reported he owed $625,000 in again loans for a pizza franchise—his Senate run has been worthwhile, personally and politically.

Since declaring his candidacy, Walker has made $175,000 for public appearances, Georgia Public Broadcasting reported—$75,000 greater than his declared Renaissance Man Foods wage. And his marketing campaign finance reviews present that Walker’s store hangs with the highest campaigns within the nation, hauling in additional than $9 million between August and December.

Still, Walker finds himself behind. His Democratic rival, Sen. Raphael Warnock, is the most important fundraising powerhouse within the Senate, ending 2021 with about $23 million within the financial institution.

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