Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) paid no mortgage interest on a beach resort property for more than 10 years, a lawyer for the powerful House committee chairman said.
The congressman's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Rangel got his no-interest deal for the villa in the Dominican Republic because he was an original buyer in the resort development, and in the early days after Rangel's 1987 purchase the rental income it generated failed to meet expectations.
Punta Cana Yacht Club director Jose Oliva issued a letter stating that Rangel and a small group of investors initially were charged interest on the loans, but after two years the company stopped because of the lower rental income.
The Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means tax-writing committee also has come under scrutiny for apartments he rents in his home district of Harlem. The ethics committee is examining Rangel's use of the four rent-controlled apartments, including one that was used for campaign work.