Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Guilty plea in corruption trial mentioned a year ago

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In March 2011 I discussed a corruption case in the city next door to where I live.

The local newspaper reports that the mayor has pled guilty to accepting a $5,000 bribe from a local business.  From the Daily Bulletin: Ex-Upland mayor pleads guilty, the very short version of the story:

{The mayor} was accused of conspiracy, extortion and bribery offenses that led the business owners to pay $45,000 in bribes.

and

{He} agreed to help the business get a new permit in exchange for money, according to the plea.

(I’m dropping the mayor’s name since it doesn’t add to my conversation.  Anyone interested can find his name in a couple of seconds.)

The article summarizes what I’ve described before.  The mayor used a cutout to communicate the demands for money to help get a conditional use permit.  A CUP is essentially a permit to use a building in a certain way – sort of like a business license.  You can’t use a building without one.

The payment was disguised as a consulting contract to the cutout’s consulting business, according to the article. The payment was passed from the shaken-down business to the cutout’s consulting business to a construction company the mayor owned.  From outward appearances those contracts and the bribery payments would appear to be legitimate business deals.

Tragedy of Fraud

I’ve previously described the rippling consequences of fraud in a long series of posts at my other blog, Nonprofit Update:  The Tragedy of Fraud.

Here’s another chapter for that series from the current story, again from the Daily Bulletin:

The indictment has ruined {the mayor’s} life and he has filed for bankruptcy, {his attorney} said.

The article also says the plea agreement suggests an 18 to 24 month prison sentence.

Prison. Bankruptcy. Your name visible on the ‘net as a fraudster for the next 50 years.

The devastation from fraud is so sad. Would that people could ponder that in advance.

Previous posts:

I’ve discussed this incident from the perspective of how an auditor could have seen this if it occurred at a client:

Full disclosure:  I am a casual acquaintance of the new, current mayor of Upland.

Written by Jim Ulvog

April 30, 2012, 8:11 am at 8:11 am

Posted in Audits, Fraud

Tagged with ,

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