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Dec. 8, 2022

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3rd Congressional District candidate Kent tied to firm not named by campaign

Employer’s benefit plan linked to global security company

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

A deeper dive into Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Joe Kent’s 2021 wage and tax statement shows ties to another company not previously named by the campaign.

Last week, Kent released two W-2 forms from 2020 and 2021 amid calls from the public for greater transparency surrounding his employment. The 2021 form identifying Advanced Enterprises Solutions LLC as Kent’s employer had its federal employer ID number redacted, whereas the 2020 document listing Advanced Enterprise Solutions as his employer did not — making cross-checking the companies impossible.

At least until a watchdog blogger with extensive knowledge of tax law provided some insight.

Portland-based blogger Jack Bogdanski pointed out Friday that the company with a redacted ID number could be traced because the W-2 form contained a classification for a 401(k) plan. Companies that sponsor such plans must file an annual report with the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor.

There is no filing for Advanced Enterprises Solutions LLC, but there is for Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC — note that one has an “s” and the other does not.

The report shows that the company operates under Standard Industrial Code 541600, meaning it consults with organizations on “management, environmental, scientific and technical issues.” The filing was authorized by Gail Reed. It is unknown whether this person has a connection to Sean Reed, whom Kent’s campaign previously said was Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC’s CEO.

Puzzlement surrounding the company increased rather than eased, however, since its benefit plan report lists a phone number for Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC that matches a company called Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC, a “global security, turn-key logistics, remote housing and life-support” firm, according to Datanyze.com.

Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC lists three offices, one of which matches the address listed for Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC: 13800 Coppermine Road, Suite 399, Herndon, Va. Torres’ other two offices are in Falls Church, Va. On Jan. 10, the company moved from Falls Church, Va., to Chantilly, Va.

There are Twitter and Facebook accounts for Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC, both of which appear to be inactive.

Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC operated under this name from Nov. 4, 2010, to June 26, 2020, until changing its name to Continuity Global Solutions LLC on June 26, 2020, according to the Virginia State Corporation Commission. On Jan. 4, 2021, it created a fictitious name, or a name a business uses instead of its legal name, Torres Advanced Enterprise Solution LLC.

Continuity Global Solutions LLC describes itself as a defense and government services contractor that focuses on global cybersecurity, information technology and project management, according to its website. Its online presence includes recent postings showing contract renewals in Central America and Haiti.

Kent’s campaign did not return The Columbian’s multiple requests for a comment to clarify his employment. His campaign previously said the firm he works for “collects research/intelligence throughout the world on cellular infrastructure which is then sent to telecommunications firms who are pursuing contracts to upgrades (sic) that infrastructure, most recently involving the transition to 5G technology.”

Within the company, Kent’s role is to “hire and oversee contractors around the world who conduct the research on the ground and then to validate that research with AES engineers and turn it into a marketable product,” according to his campaign.

Tax returns released

Questions about Kent’s employment surfaced following an Oct. 23 report from The Daily Beast, a left-wing online news site, which claimed it couldn’t find Kent’s stated employer, American Enterprise Solutions, in various databases. The candidate had identified this company as his employer in federal filings and public comments.

Kent’s campaign issued a statement calling The Daily Beast’s initial story “fraudulent,” but in the same statement explained the discrepancy away as a filing error on their part after the company’s name was changed, though no record of the original company could be found in corporate record databases.

Kent’s W-2 form from 2020 identified his employer as Advanced Enterprise Solutions of Milford, Del., and indicated he was paid $111,799.96. In 2021, Kent identified his employer as Advanced Enterprises Solutions LLC of Herndon, Va., and reported earning $122,110.36. The company names on both W-2 forms were spelled differently.

The Kent campaign on Friday released three years of his tax returns in response to increased inquiries concerning the legitimacy of his employment, which can be found at www.joekentforcongress.com/taxreturns.

In the same release, the campaign slammed Democratic challenger Marie Gluesenkamp Perez for not releasing her own tax returns, which she posted later that evening at www.marieforcongress.com/tax-returns.

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