Photos obtained by the California Globe appear to show Newsom last week on the balcony of the opulent vacation home La Datcha Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, that comes with ‘chefs, butlers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, concierge, fitness instructor and masseur’ – though the governor’s office denies he was there.
The trip came just days after Newsom announced his decision to extend California’s state of emergency declaration due to the ongoing threat of Covid-19.
This isn’t the first time the governor has flouted his own pandemic-related orders, which have been criticized for being too restrictive.
Just a year earlier, Newsom, 54, ignited national outrage after it was revealed he had secretly attended a maskless indoor dinner party in Napa Valley days before urging residents not to travel or host large gatherings following a deadly surge in coronavirus cases in the state.
He was dubbed a covid hypocrite again in July after enforcing mask mandates in schools while sending his own children to a basketball camp where face coverings aren’t required.
DailyMail.com can reveal the luxury rental Newsom and his family stayed in last week is owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov, who pleaded guilty in October to dodging more than $248million in taxes.
Prosecutors in the Northern California federal case said the billionaire ‘brazenly violated United States tax law’ by falsely reporting his net worth as $300,000 when he renounced his US citizenship three days after selling $192M of shares in his online bank Tinkoff Credit Services (TCS) eight years ago.
Photos obtained by the California Globe appear to show Governor Gavin Newsom last week on the balcony of the opulent vacation home La Datcha Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, owned by Russian billionaire and tax fraudster Oleg Tinkov
Newsom is seen with his wife Jennifer and one of his sons, sun bathing on the beach in Mexico
The $29,000-per-night rental comes with ‘chefs, butlers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, concierge, fitness instructor and masseur’
Tinkov (pictured with his wife Rina) was arrested in London in February last year. Born in Russia, he became a naturalized US citizen in 1996
The source who gave the Globe the photos said they were staying four houses away from Tinkov’s villa last week and spotted a man resembling Newsom and a blonde woman resembling his wife Jennifer, their children, and another couple at the 10,000 sq ft villa – and even claimed to have got a glimpse of him up close through binoculars.
The source reportedly tweeted at Newsom complaining about a loud fire show they hosted, but deleted the message when the villa residents ended the show minutes after.
‘How’s the fire show at your compound in Cabo? Watching you from 4 houses over and you and the staff are not wearing masks,’ the source reportedly wrote.
The insider told the Globe: ‘With the black SUVs, and 15 cars at the tennis courts which are not there usually, and a guy that looked like him, a blonde that looked like her, the Lt. Gov in charge, and Gavin in Cabo, it’s pretty hard to not put the math together.’
A second source reportedly contacted the Globe after reading their story and shared another photo appearing to show Gavin, Jennifer and their son on the beach outside La Datcha villa.
The governor’s office initially denied California’s first family were there in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘The Newsoms didn’t stay at or visit that property during their vacation. They paid for their trip themselves,’ spokeswoman Erin Mellon said.
His office did not respond to questions about the second, close-up photo.
A spokeswoman for the governor confirmed Newsom had vacationed in Mexico, said it was funded by ‘the Newsom family’, but denied it was at La Datcha, telling the Globe: ‘that is not even where the family stayed.’
Newsom was criticized over the trip which came just days after he announced his decision to extend California’s state of emergency declaration due to the ongoing threat of Covid-19.
‘Newsom’s on vacation in Mexico. Cool cool. There’s no such thing as a state of emergency wherein the governor would be comfortable leaving the state for vacation. @GavinNewsom must end this farcical state of emergency now,’ one user tweeted in the wake of the news.
‘Remember when Gavin Newsom told us to not see our families in 2020 during the holidays because of the ‘State of Emergency.’ 1 year later. He’s living his best life in Mexico I hope y’all follow suit. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for this platform & the relations I’ve made,’ another said.
Newsom joins the list of politicians and public figures who have come under fire for traveling or jetting off to luxury vacations during the pandemic.
A witness who was reportedly staying four houses away from the villa said they spotted the Newsoms at the $29,000-per-night rental where the family allegedly hosted a loud fire show
Newsom was in Mexico when he shared an Instagram post wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving holiday alongside a photo of his wife taken elsewhere
Days before his trip, the governor spoke publicly to remind California residents to comply with Covid-19 health guidelines and extended the state of emergency declaration
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz took a dig at his own PR disaster earlier this year as he replied to a tweet about Newsom’s trip, saying: ‘Cancun is much nicer than Cabo.’
Cruz was alluding to his infamous family trip to Mexico in February when Texas was hit by rare winter storms that left millions without power.
A press release from the governor’s office dated November 22 announced that Newsom had ‘left the state and will be joining First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and their children in Mexico.’
Russian billionaire Oleg Tinkov was accused of falsely reporting his net worth when renounced his US citizenship three days after selling $192M of shares in Tinkoff Credit Services in 2013
The release said he would ‘return to the state on November 28, 2021.’
A source close to the governor told DailyMail.com his staff were reluctant to disclose his precise vacation spots due to ‘security concerns’, claiming that the governor is a regular recipient of death threats.
Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, is heiress to a multi-million-dollar fortune from her family’s software business, and the couple reported $1.69million in adjusted gross income in 2019, paying $712,000 in taxes. The Governor’s salary was $209,747 last year.
Their alleged host at La Datcha, Tinkov, agreed in October to pay the IRS more than $506million after pleading guilty to tax fraud.
Tinkov was arrested in London in February last year. Born in Russia, he became a naturalized US citizen in 1996.
The source who spotted Newsom tweeted at the governor complaining about a loud fire show they hosted, but deleted the message when the villa residents ended the show minutes after
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz took a dig at his own PR disaster earlier this year as he replied to a tweet about Newsom’s trip
Cruz came under fire for infamously taking a family trip to Mexico in February when Texas was reeling from rare winter storms that left millions without power
He founded TCS which grew into a multi-billion-dollar company, and sold $192million of shares after the firm went public in October 2013.
Three days later he walked into a Moscow US embassy and relinquished his citizenship – which prosecutors say was an attempt to dodge $248,525,339 in taxes.
The US Department of Justice says Tinkov filled out forms claiming his assets were just $300,000 and his income that year only $205,317.
Prosecutors pointed out his eventual settlement with the IRS was ‘more than double the amount of money he sought to escape paying to the U.S. Treasury through his fraudulent scheme.’
‘No one who enjoys the immense benefits of United States citizenship, as Tinkov did, may avoid the corresponding obligation to support the country he chose. Tax evaders should take notice of the long reach of U.S. law enforcement,’ said Acting US Attorney Stephanie Hinds for the Northern District of California. ‘Oleg Tinkov brazenly violated United States tax law.’
The website for Tinkov’s Cabo rental villa encourages guests to ‘sit by the isle of fire in this borderless expanse of blue, enjoy a glass of wine from Oleg Tinkov’s private collection
The villa’s prices are listed as starting at $23,000 per day, rising to $29,000 on ‘major holidays’
The website for Tinkov’s Cabo rental villa encourages guests to ‘sit by the isle of fire in this borderless expanse of blue, enjoy a glass of wine from Oleg Tinkov’s private collection, and feel the magic of La Datcha Cabo San Lucas as all your worries and cares melt away.’
The vacation pad can ‘easily accommodate up to 20 people as it has two large and eight regular-size bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, a toilet and a walk-in wardrobe,’ the site says, adding that ‘the two large bedrooms each have an adjacent private terrace — one with a fireplace and the other with a swimming pool. The latter bedroom also features a study.’
The villa’s prices are listed as starting at $23,000 per day, rising to $29,000 on ‘major holidays’. At $29,000, a week at La Datcha would have set back the Newsoms $203,000 before taxes.
The governor took the vacation abroad while California is still under a state of emergency due to Covid-19.