Donald Trump’s presumptive pick for secretary of the treasury, venture capitalist Carl Icahn, has disproportionately pummeled Latino communities in Los Angeles while rewarding his board members with millions, according to an investigation published Thursday.
Icahn is infamous on Wall Street for buying majority shares to reap billions, according to Little Sis and Hedge Clippers, which calculated 35,000 layoffs and cuts in benefits for 126,000 families.
His “corporate raiding” approach has targeted some of the country’s biggest names — including Time Warner, Yahoo and insurance multinational AIG — resulting in several thousand jobs lost at each company. His massive cuts at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City won him the admiration of Trump but inspired a rare strike since last weekend.
The focus of the investigation, though, was one of Icahn’s biggest investments, mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, which has devastated the health and environmental conditions of Los Angeles’ poor minorities.
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The company owns a large portion of California’s oil wells, including the largest urban oilfield in the United States in Inglewood, in Los Angeles county. Black and Latino families are the most affected, making up almost 80 percent of the population living near gas wells in the county.
Inglewood also has over half of its population with a salary under US$50,000, while Freeport-McMoRan’s Richard Adkerson was ranked the third most overpaid CEO in 2015, earning US$55.3 million compensation in 2013, according to corporate watchdog As You Sow.
Icahn, a vocal supporter of Trump, has a US$1.1 billion share in the mining company which also extracts resources in Peru, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia-controlled West Papua.