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What was Jonathan Bush's net worth? George W Bush's uncle who was fined $30,000 for money laundering dead at 89

In 1991, Jonathan Bush was fined $30,000 in Massachusetts and another several thousand dollars in Connecticut for violating registration laws overseeing securities sales
Jonathan Bush was the last surviving brother of former president George H W Bush (Getty Images)
Jonathan Bush was the last surviving brother of former president George H W Bush (Getty Images)

Former president George H W Bush's brother Jonathan Bush died on Wednesday, May 5, just one day before his 90th birthday. His family paid a loving tribute to the "fine gentleman" through a statement issued by the George & Barbara Bush Foundation on Thursday morning, May 6. "The foundation pauses to mourn the passing of President Bush's beloved brother Jonathan," the statement read, further describing Jonathan as a "wonderful husband, father, grandfather and brother, a fine gentleman, and a noble soul".

The statement also extended their "love and prayers" to his family, before adding "And knowing Jonathan, he also would like for us to observe he was a great song and dance man — without a doubt the best dancer of his siblings, all of whom he now joins in heaven." It's not yet clear just how the former president's brother died, but his son and acclaimed NBC reporter Billy Bush made a note to wish Jonathan for his 90th birthday in the tribute issued following his death. Jonathan is also survived by his younger son, Jonathan S Bush, whose life has been marred with professional controversies just the way his father's had been. 


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Jonathan Bush was the last surviving brother of former president George H W Bush (Getty Images)

Jonathan Bush's career

Married to Josephine Bush, Jonathan was the last surviving child of Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush at the time of his death. He had worked in investment before officially retiring in 2018 from Fairfield, Bush & Co. Jonathan had founded the investment advisory firm located in New Haven, Connecticut, which was in the business of providing discreet banking services for Washington, DC, embassies of foreign governments for several years.

In 1997, Riggs Bank bought J Bush & Co and Jonathan became the CEO and president of the newly instated Riggs Investment, also based in New Haven, Connecticut. Jonathan was also involved in organizing investors for his brother and the 41st POTUS's first oil venture, Arbusto Energy, which later became Bush Explorations. During his nephew, George W Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, Jonathan had also contributed towards a fundraiser for his election and was labeled a 'Bush Pioneer' after he raised over $100,000 for the campaign.

Jonathan Bush And Wife during Appeal Of Conscience Foundation Honors Barbara Bush at Pierre Hotel in New York City (Getty Images)

Money laundering scandal and fines

By 2004, things took a dark turn as an expose published by The Washington Post on May 15 that year alleged: "A political Web site written by a Democratic operative drew attention yesterday to the fact that President Bush's uncle, Jonathan J Bush, is a top executive at Riggs Bank, which this week agreed to pay a record $25 million in civil fines for violations of law intended to thwart money laundering."

While the article didn't explicitly mention the names of these bank accounts, they have been speculated to be Saudi. The expose continued how "a source familiar with the multiple federal investigations of the bank's Saudi accounts and other embassy accounts say Jonathan Bush's investment advice unit has 'no relationship whatsoever' with any of the Riggs's Saudi accounts." The publication also outed a spokesperson for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as saying "any suggestion of political influence in the Riggs situation is 'preposterous'".

In the wake of the expose, Bush was fined $30,000 in Massachusetts, along with an additional several thousand dollars in Connecticut for violating registration laws overseeing securities sales. He was further prohibited from securities brokerage with the general public in Massachusetts for a full year. 

What was Jonathan Bush's net worth?

Based on Jonathan's work and family history, the outlet estimates his net worth to be over $2M. His verified net worth remains confidential, the outlet adds, noting that Jonathan was also one of the early pioneers of Athena Health, which was led by his son Jonathan S Bush before he was forced out of the company. 

Along with that, the Bush family's complete net worth is estimated to be a whopping $400M by the outlet Celebrity Net Worth. The family has acquired this humongous wealth owing to a slew of successful bankers as well as businessmen across three generations, including two US senators, one Supreme Court justice, two governors, one vice president and two presidents.