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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney falsely claims he started business ‘from scratch’

US Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney inflated his role in a software company, claiming several times over the last decade that he built it “from scratch” — despite officially joining the business after it launched, The Post has learned.

Maloney —  a Democrat who represents Orange and Putnam Counties but is currently running for a nearby Congressional seat  — started as the general counsel for Kiodex in July 2000, according to news reports, public records and his LinkedIn page.

He was promoted to chief operating officer of the firm, a risk-management and consulting service for commodities traders, that fall, according to a campaign rep and reports.

The company was registered online and with New York state months before Maloney, 55, was hired as its lawyer — but the Bill Clinton administration alum has suggested that he started Kiodex, in interviews and on social media.

His official congressional bio states: “When Sean left the White House, he built his own business from scratch. His high-tech startup created hundreds of New York jobs,” with nearly identical language on his campaign website.

Maloney — the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who is currently vying to represent New York’s newly redrawn 17th Congressional district — appears to have been stretching the truth about his role at Kiodex for several years.

Maloney said he built Kiodex “from scratch,” despite being hired after the company was created.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

A Democratic political operative said the exaggeration fits with Maloney’s MO, charging, “Sean will basically do and say anything to make Sean Patrick Maloney look good. That’s been his number one [priority] for as long as he’s been in professional life.”

“For Sean, it’s always about what’s good for Sean, and all other considerations are irrelevant in his mind … so I’m not surprised at all,” scoffed the communications pro.

The source — who was familiar with how his campaign sought to pitch itself to voters when he first ran for the House seat he now occupies — said Maloney’s repeatedly touting his business bona fides was aimed at “appealing to independent voters” in the suburban district.

A screenshot of a 2013 Facebook post.
In July 2013, he posted on Facebook, “I built my own business from scratch, so I know how difficult owning your own business can be.”
Facebook

“It was about molding a resume to appeal to a moderate district,” the insider explained.

In 2006, during his first of two unsuccessful bids for New York state Attorney General, his campaign website provided an accurate account of his career in the early 2000s.

“Sean is an experienced business executive, having served from 2000-03 as chief operating officer of Kiodex, Inc., a Warburg Pincus portfolio company that provides risk management solutions to the commodities derivatives markets,” it read.

But as the November 2012 congressional race against Republican opponent Nan Hayworth, whom he beat by three points, neared, Maloney ramped up his description to say that he “built his own business from scratch” on his site.

He also wrote on Facebook at the time that he helped “create hundreds of thousands of jobs in New York while working in President Clinton’s White House and then building a software company from scratch.”

After winning the House seat, Maloney continued to say he created his own business “from scratch,” including in a press release about a “Congress at Your Company” event at MasterCard’s headquarters during his first month as a federal lawmaker.

The next month, he said in a press release, “After starting my own business I helped create the public-private partnership commission in the Governor’s office.” In July 2013, he posted on Facebook, “I built my own business from scratch, so I know how difficult owning your own business can be.”

He’s expressed similar sentiments in more recent public statements.

 Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., prepares for a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center after the House passed the Build Back Better Act on Friday, November 19, 2021.
Maloney also wrote on Facebook at the time that he helped “create hundreds of thousands of jobs in New York while working in President Clinton’s White House and then building a software company from scratch.”
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

“I started my own business and I know how hard navigating red tape and regulations can be – get in touch with my office if your small business needs a hand,” he tweeted in April 2018

Following the tumultuous congressional redistricting process, Maloney abandoned the purple 18th Congressional district to run in the more heavily Democratic 17th. He will face off against state Sen. Alexandria Biaggi of Westchester in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary.

Maloney worked for about five years at white-shoe law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP before serving in various roles in the White House, including special assistant to the president staff secretary.

He went on to level positions at Kiodex from 2000 to 2003, before returning to the law firm, running unsuccessfully for New York’s state Attorney General and working in the governor’s Executive Chamber. He then went to law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, before heading to Washington DC in 2013 to represent a suburban swing district. 

Still, Maloney has opted to inflate his role at Kiodex, including on at least nine separate occasions declaring he had started it “from scratch.”

A rep for Maloney insisted that the congressman “was one of four executives who built Kiodex from the ground up.”

“The company’s other founders have confirmed that Rep. Maloney was a co-founder who was vital in Kiodex’s development,” added the campaign spokesperson, Mia Ehrenberg. “Any effort to nit-pick his influence at the company is clearly false and motivated by political smear campaigns rather than reporting the facts.”

“Without any factual basis, The Post seems to think they know better than the founding CEO of Kiodex, who has verified all of Rep. Maloney’s claims.”

In a statement provided by Maloney’s campaign, the CEO and co-founder of Kiodex, Marty Chavez, said that Maloney “was a key member of my original founding team, helping me create Kiodex from scratch.”

“Sean and Raj were the two first people I spoke with about Kiodex. Sean played a critical role in our earliest, formative days, helping Kiodex weather great challenges during the September 11 attacks and the resulting economic turmoil,” the statement continued.

Maloney’s spokesperson also pointed The Post to a December 2020 interview in which Chavez said the Fiodex’s “co-founders and I all went on to do interesting things.”

“One of them is a senior partner at Goldman, another one is a US Congressman from the State of New York,” he added.

But prior accounts of the firm’s early stages – before Maloney became a powerful member of Congress and the Democratic Party — paint a different picture. 

Kiodex’s domain name was first registered in November 1999, months before Maloney’s Clinton administration departure.

On February 4, 2000, as Maloney was working in the White House, “Kiodex, Inc” was registered as a corporation with New York State’s Department of State. And on April 27, 2000, the start-up submitted a Uniform Commercial Code filing to report that it had obtained a commercial business loan.

The Washington Post reported on June 2, 2000 that Maloney would soon leave the White House to “become general counsel of Kiodex,” which was sold in 2004. 

Kiodex announced its official launch on June 12 2000. A June 28, 2000 Kiodex newsletter announced that Maloney was chosen as general counsel of the firm, where he would be tasked with “developing and managing the company’s legal, regulatory and communications strategies.”

A November 2000 Business Wire story revealed Maloney was “recently named” Chief Operating Officer.

Years later, an April 2016 New York Times story describes Maloney as “one of Mr. Chavez’s deputies at Kiodex.”

The Maloney campaign could not provide any contemporaneous proof that Maloney was a leader of Kiodex when it was first created.

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