Monday, July 29, 2013

BREAKING NEWS!
In a new investigation of David Wilhelm's Hopewell Ventures just received via FOIA five minutes ago, it appears that he obtained a $10 Million investment from the Illinois State Board of Investment similar to that received from the Illinois Teachers Retirement System.

Wilhelm hastily left Illinois and returned to Ohio when the Feds were investigating Blagojevich. Illinois invites him to stand in front of municipal workers who are expecting that their retirement funds are safe and explain how he looted these funds for personal gain.

There was an additional investment obtain from the University of Illinois Endowment Fund for $500,000 that paid Wilhelm $197,729.96 in management fees now showing an ending balance of $225,378.77!

Apparently, his acumen as an investor parallels his success at TRS; the current value of the $10 Million initial investment is now valued at $4,507,575! This net amount also reflects his non-refundable management fees of $3,954,599.15.

These three ventures alone netted him and his partners $7.6 Million in management fees for $20.5 Million placed in his fiduciary care!! The value of all three funds has diminished dramatically to the detriment of retirees.

Again, ISBI refuses to provide the investment contract executed with Wilhelm so we have appealed this denial to the Illinois Attorney General's Office for review.

Devon Bruce, Chairman of ISBI should investigate who wired the deal for Wilhelm to obtain these funds at inception and would be prudent to initiate a lawsuit against Wilhelm to recover the principal and all management fees obtained. ISBI was another pension fund targeted by Wilhelm, Joe Cari, Thomas R. Reedy and Robert Vanecko for the express purpose of garnering management fees for personal gain.

Corruption Busters recommends that board minutes be reviewed to determine what board members are responsible for making the decision to award Wilhelm funds and determine what political ties influenced the decision.

First up - Nepotism ain't dead yet!

All roads lead back to the Daleys and Madigans with intertwining relationships in Chicago. 

The legacy of the Roger J. Kileys and how it pays to be part of the Irish anointed clan getting fat off taxpayer monies is noteworthy.

In Chicago, inheritance of the family business is key to insuring a constant flow of taxpayer dollars by working the "friends and family" system. The Kileys are no different than hundreds of patronage workers who engage in a secret plot to loot the public coffers. Stories have been written by ace news reporters, the reading public may get indignant for fifteen minutes, but public disclosure has done little to curtail these activities or return monies to the people unjustly gained via sole source, over billed back room deals.

We suggest you study intro Accounting with particular emphasis on one-column bookkeeping as only assets are garnered without suffering any liabilities.

So, for all you novices out there looking obtain residual income and steady employment, here is a primer on how to amass personal funds in a manner more reliable than investing in stocks or bonds.

According to Wikipedia, here is the story of Grandpa Roger Kiley.

"Roger Joseph Kiley (October 23, 1900 – September 6, 1974) was a United States federal judge.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Kiley received an LL.B. from Notre Dame Law School in 1923. He was a College athletic coach from 1922 to 1932. Professional football player, Chicago Cardinals (no dates). He was in private practice in Chicago, Illinois from 1933 to 1940. He was a member of the Chicago Board of Alderman, Illinois from 1933 to 1940. He was a judge on the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois in 1940. He was a judge on the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Chicago, Illinois from 1941 to 1961.
Kiley was a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Kiley was nominated by President John F. Kennedy on June 20, 1961, to a seat vacated by William Lynn Parkinson. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 27, 1961, and received his commission on June 30, 1961. He assumed senior status on January 1, 1974. Kiley served in that capacity until September 6, 1974, due to his death."

Remember, you need to keep focused on the winning formula: Notre Dame, Chicago politics, JFK, Irish heritage and a sponsor!

Next up, Roger J. Kiley, Jr., quite the chip off the old block.

According to John Kass' article dated June 1, 1995
"Mayor Richard Daley is scheduled to announce on Thursday that former Cook County Judge Roger J. Kiley Jr. will succeed Gery Chico as his chief of staff, according to City Hall aides. The announcement follows weeks of reports about internal squabbling among senior City Hall staff over the post. Kiley, an ex-Marine, will sell his Oak Park home and move to Chicago after he assumes the job, sources said...Kiley is a member of a longtime political family and has been a friend of the mayor for more than 25 years. He is a senior partner at Mayer, Brown & Platt.
Kiley's understanding of politics is considered especially important at this time, with Daley taking on the responsibility of running the school system and losing trusted aide Timothy Degnan, who is retiring as intergovernmental affairs director.
Kiley, 58, has worked at Mayer, Brown & Platt since 1989. He has also worked as an outside general counsel to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and during the 1970s, was a law partner of Illinois House Democratic Leader Michael Madigan of Chicago. He was a judge for 13 years, resigning from the Chancery Division in 1989.

Fast forward to a 2005 Sun Times article by Steve Warmbir & Tim Novak re George Ryan. 

"ROGER KILEY (Jr)
Mayor Daley's former chief of staff is now a partner at the law firm of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, the exclusive lobbyist for McCormick Place and Navy Pier.
While Fawell was running McCormick Place, he asked Kiley to hire Ron Swanson as a lobbyist, fulfilling a request from Ryan, prosecutors say. Swanson allegedly did little or no work under the deal that cost taxpayers $5,000 a month."

Here is the sole source contract and renewal gifted to Kiley by Renee C. Benjamin, General Counsel, MPEA that cost taxpayers $230,000. As a quasi State-City agency receiving direct funds from the Illinois Legislature annually to offset the operating deficits incurred by the management run by political hacks, why would MPEA need a lobbyist with an annual deficits of $287.8 Million for July, 2005-June, 2006? The answer is simply because they could pay outside legal fees without detection or taxpayer accountability!





We will come back to the MPEA connection below.


Next up, 3rd generation Roger J. Kiley, III, 31 years old at that time.




Kiley was honored by Loyola in 2010. Here is an excerpt from their writeup "Roger J. Kiley, Jr. earned his J.D. at Loyola’s School of Law in 1966, after earning his B.A. at the University of Notre Dame in 1958.  Judge Kiley is currently practicing law as a sole practitioner following his 2009 retirement from Mayer Brown, LLC where he was a partner for 18 years."

Kiley Jr left Mayer Brown and moved into Shefsky's offices at 111 E. Wacker Suite 2800, Chicago. This is no coincidence. He was insuring the family legacy for the next generation.

In a June 28, 2010 press release, Mayor Daley appointed Kiley Jr as an interim board member at MPEA to replace the board removed by the legislature for mismanagement of the Authority and signed into law by Governor Quinn in January, 2010.

Corruption Busters' ongoing investigation of fraud and mismanagement at MPEA reveals that simultaneous with this timeframe, Renee Benjamin hands Shefsky a sole source, no cap billing contract for a litigation matter resulting in over $300,000 of billings at $295 per hour with most of those hours billed, coincidentally by Roger Kiley III. So the family business continues to thrive. Daddy sure was watching the store!

On the surface, the negotiated rate for outside legal fees would appear to be reasonable. But, here is the rub. Legal services are never provided using just one lawyer. In most cases, the effective billing rate per hour is three times $295 or $885. MPEA employed a full time General Counsel at $195,000 per annum, an assistance general counsel at about $145,000 and a Senior Attorney at $110,000 plus other legal staff. The math is simple; Renee Benjamin's effective hourly rate is $93.75 and the senior attorney's rate is $52.88. Both went to law school and should be capable of litigating a contract dispute! This is certainly a breach of taxpayer trust and waste of funds for personal gain.

Looks like Board Member Kiley has the fiscal opportunity to sign off on his kid's invoices to MPEA! Where are the internal audit controls to safeguard taxpayer assets? Jim Reilly, MPEA CEO (formerly Trustee) should be watching the store more closely but he was appointed Trustee via the Illinois Legislature (read this Madigan) tossing out the previous board!

Corruption Busters has completed a forensic audit of the Shefsky invoices and has determined a pattern of milking the billings for personal gain. Failure to provide a cap on reasonable services by the General Counsel, Renee Benjamin resulted in gross over-payment of unnecessary professional services that should have been provided by her and her in-house counsel.

MPEA is now bankrupt with a 2012 fiscal deficit of $999 Million. Perhaps it is time to have a court appointed trustee oversee the daily operations?

We call for an investigation by the Illinois Attorney General, Governor of Illinois and Mayor of Chicago to audit these billings for gross overcharges with the intent of recovering taxpayer dollars.

There are 13 million citizens in Illinois who would also like to get in on the action. It certain pays in spades to be a member of the Kiley  clan!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Must be the Luck of the Irish to continuously feed at the taxpayer trough!

One of the stories that is told about getting started in politics is that on the way home from law school one night in 1948, I stopped by the ward headquarters in the ward where I lived. There was a street-front, and the name Timothy O'Sullivan, Ward Committeeman, was painted on the front window. I walked in and I said "I'd like to volunteer to work for Adlai Stevenson and Paul Douglas." This quintessential Chicago ward committeeman took the cigar out of his mouth and glared at me and said, "Who sent you?" I said, "Nobody sent me." He put the cigar back in his mouth and he said, "We don't want nobody that nobody sent." This was the beginning of my political career in Chicago.

Our ongoing investigation into Chicago patronage profiles folks whose family names are not as well known as Madigan, Daley or other members of the clan but who continue the legacy of corruption and personal gain at taxpayer expense via sole source contracts awarded simply because of who they know and who wired their getting political jobs.

The good old boy network is still alive and well in Chicago.
The last thing these people want is public exposure. Better put on your seat belt; this ride is going to be very rocky!

More to come....stay tuned!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bill Daley calls for more board appointments from the Governor in the Metra fiasco.

  • Why doesn't he review previous appointments that resulted in a breach of the public trust? 
  • Should these individuals be debarred from serving the public further? 
  • Why do these people covet unpaid board appointments and are tenacious in obtaining other board positions even after being removed?
  • Illinois has 13 Million citizens. Why continue to retread a small select group of politically connected folks who are interested in leveraging these positions for personal gain and ego?


Let's take a stroll down memory lane and review board appointments to Metropolitan Pier & Expo Authority, a 50/50 venture between the City of Chicago and State of Illinois.


Here is the track record for MPEA board members and employees: 

ANNUAL AUDITS OF MPEA
Examination of MPEA financial statements for the years 2006-2012 indicate annual deficits as follows:
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2012  $999 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2011$833.0 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2010 $696.5 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2009 $556.4 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2008 $408.3 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2007 $309.5 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2006 $287.8 Million

The State of Illinois derives no fiscal value for its 50% interest in MPEA! MPEA is city-centric and is a destination venue for visitors who engage in per capita spending in Chicago.

PATRONAGE HIRINGS RESULTING IN EXCESSIVE OPERATING COSTS VIA INFLATED PAYROLL
Losing business, McPier added big salaries
Agency says cost-cutting is 'an ongoing plan'
January 4, 2010
BY CHRIS FUSCO, TIM NOVAK AND DAVE McKINNEY Chicago Sun Times Staff Reporters
Even as convention business has plummeted, the number of people on the payroll of the government agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier who are paid more than $100,000 a year has grown.
A Chicago Sun-Times analysis of payroll records shows 54 employees of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority were making at least $100,000 as of September 2009. That's eight more than the agency, familiarly known as McPier, had in 2006, the records show – a 17 percent increase.



Here are the appointed board members in 2009 under the tenure of Juan Ochoa as CEO and appointed by former Mayor Richard Daley (no coincidence, Bill's brother) and Rod Blagojevich (now convicted felon)





You will also note that board members with expired terms continue to serve indefinitely until they are eventually replaced.
What motivates these people to serve at no compensation??
All are political hacks who benefit from patronage to obtain these appointments in the first place.


REMOVAL OF MPEA BOARD FOR MISMANAGEMENT

On January 13, 2010 the Illinois Senate voted 39 to 11 to remove the sitting Board of Directors at MPEA for mismanagement of the Authority (SB1868). On February 17, 2010 Governor Quinn signed into law the ouster of the Board. These board members should have been permanently debarred from serving on any other boards.


Without missing a beat, Quinn appointed removed board member James V. Riley to State Police Board in April, 2010. On May 17, 2012 he sought Senate approval. Quinn also failed to realize that Riley should have been removed from the MPEA board in 2008 as he was a named defendant in a federal lawsuit in Atlanta for bid rigging related to outdoor signage.




Peter. J. O’Brien was named to the Illinois Capital Development Board, John S. Gates, Jr. was named to the Regional Transportation Authority Board, Bruce Meckler to the Judicial Inquiry Board. All of these appointments are fiduciary positions where taxpayer have entrusted monies for lawful purposes. Devon Bruce, who served briefly on the MPEA board, is now Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Investment that still has funds placed with David Wilhelm's Hopewell Ventures (see previous stories on his mismanagement of TRS pension funds). These appointments are typically rammed through the Illinois Senate in the early afternoon when legislators seem to be asleep. 

Both the Governor and Senators have breached their fiduciary duties to the taxpayers by not vetting these appointees and eliminating individuals who have already proven that they are not worthy to serve the public.


It is noteworthy and ironic that no MPEA management employees were removed despite their being directly responsible for day to day operations at the authority. They continued to draw their inflated salaries and continued to accumulate credit towards their public pensions at taxpayer expense.

So Bill, here is a question for you "as Governor would you appoint ordinary, civic minded citizens from Peoria, Decatur, Cairo or other locations south of I-80 to Illinois state board positions or continue your brother's legacy of patronage appointments that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars in waste, fraud and corruption?"

We look forward to your response. You can contact us at corruptionbusters24x7x365@gmail with your reply!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A call for TRS members to demand a forensic audit and accounting of private investment firms managing pension funds due to allegations of fraud and personal gain with the express purpose of recovering assets improperly granted to unqualified investment managers via wired deals during the tenure of convicted felon Stuart Levine.


TRS Membership

TRS members are all full-time, part-time, and substitute Illinois public school personnel employed outside the city of Chicago in positions requiring certification by the Illinois State Board of Education. Persons employed in certain state agencies relating to education are also TRS members. As of June 30, 2012, there were 162,217 active members, 99,052 inactive members, and 105,447 annuitants and beneficiaries. 

All members and annuitants should contact the TRS with a petition to recover assets.


Contact:

Richard W. Ingram

Executive Director

executive_director@trs.illinois.gov

Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois
2815 West Washington Street | Springfield Illinois 62702
Who is Ellen Barry and how did she land a new job as Acting CIO for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago?

Ellen Barry seems to keep popping up in municipal jobs like a character in Wackamole. She was employed as first deputy CIO for the City of Chicago from May 1, 1997 to Feb. 14, 2000. She then leveraged a patronage job obtained through Skinny Sheahan and her ex-brother-in-law who was an Alderman. On Feb. 14, 2000 she moved over to Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority as CIO.  She was forced into early retirement effective June 30, 2010 after the Illinois Legislature and Governor Quinn forcibly removed the sitting board members for mismanaging the Authority. It is still a mystery as to why the entire management of MPEA was also not removed when Juan Ochoa resigned!

She claimed to save the Authority monies by "insourcing" the IT function within MPEA and was directly involved in a program to charge exhibitors exorbitant amounts for Internet services that she claimed to own. She touted this program as a profit center to MPEA. Our forensic investigation of revenues derived from Internet services did not bear out this claim as MPEA simply dumped the monies into the General Fund without accounting for the transactions. In fact, she was renting services from the Illinois Century Network. The Cisco switches and routers were quite inexpensive and did not provide redundancy. In addition, MPEA employees in the Head House (located at the west end of Navy Pier) were not connected to the network, but were using DSL circuits provided by a sole source contract she executed with AT&T at additional cost. 

Barry wired a sole source 3 page contract with Ethnometrics in 2008 with her buddy Dave Fellers who was the former executive director of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and who utilized Internet services at MPEA for their annual event. MPEA never earned any revenue from this agreement! In addition, she purchased $91,000 of camera equipment with MPEA funds for the express use of Ethnometrics at no cost.

Barry was also instrumental in crafting the Homeland Security Grant monies request with her friends at IBM for the installation of security cameras at Navy Pier. This $4.4 Million sole source contract for substandard equipment resulted in MPEA actually paying 25% of the monies or $1.1 Million taxpayer funds as part of the network implemented by the OEMC for Operation Virtual Shield. 

All while the Authority had amassed a deficit of $408.3 Million (2008) now enlarged to $999 Million (2012)

In 2008, Barry tasked Mario Dominguez, the Director of Desktop, Security and the AS/400 to perform an audit on assets including desktop computers, cell phones and beepers. Dominguez determined that half the equipment was missing. At his persistence, he questioned employees and his findings revealed that MPEA equipment had been taken home for personal use. He attempted to recover these assets. Dominguez was wrongfully terminated by Barry and the report was destroyed. She replaced Mario with her girlfriend's husband, Chuck Sansone, at $100,000 salary despite his having no experience with Cisco networks. Sansone was moved over to Navy Pier Inc., a 501C3 non profit,  in July, 2011 along with all the other patronage workers employed at Navy Pier in an attempt to remove them from public scrutiny and investigations by the press. 

She also had no problem employing her grandson during the summers at MPEA at taxpayer expense. Her son is employed at the Office of Emergency Management.

Juan Ochoa, CEO of MPEA from 2007 to 2010 brought in his mentor, Carlos Ponce as acting Chief of Staff, in an attempt to deflect the barrage of inquiries into mismanagement and improprieties. Ponce was instrumental in forcing Barry out of MPEA.

Under heavy scrutiny, she accepted the early retirement from MPEA in June, 2010 despite imploring management to continue her employment.

Barry now collects $6,278.92 per month in pension monies from MPEA.

On Feb. 19, 2013 Barry was named Acting CIO for the Water Reclamation District at a bi-weekly rate of $8,075.09 (annualized at $193,802.20) a very nice increase in compensation from her ending pay at MPEA $142,320.20).

Who is her Chinaman that helped her get a cushy patronage job this time??

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Follow the Money- Out of the $10 Million the Illinois Teacher Retirement System (TRS) placed with Hopewell Ventures controlled by David Wilhelm, $2 Million was invested in a small privately-held software company, Itracs in 2004. 

Corruption Busters' ongoing investigation of pension fund mismanagement and abuse previously reported that this was a direct payback to Thomas R. Reedy who hired Wilhelm after his stint with the Democratic National Committee. Reedy was also appointed to the Woodrow Wilson Center in 1999 by President Clinton at the behest of Joe Cari. No  coincidence here. This is where Cari made contact with his future partners and formed Healthpoint Capital, recipient of $35 Million in TRS funds in 2003. Healthpoint continues to manage private investment retirement funds.

From day 1, Wilhelm's investments lost asset value and provided continuous negative returns. In March, 2013, Commscope (a Carlyle Group company)  purchased most of the assets of Itracs. While not disclosing the terms of the purchase, it is apparent that Itracs was no longer capable of operating as an independent company. Wilhelm is no longer a board member.

What happened to the $2 Million invested in Itracs? As fiduciaries for teachers funds, the TRS directors can ill afford to lose monies entrusted to their care.

We urge the TRS to investigate this matter and take legal steps to recover teacher pension funds improperly placed with this company by a wired deal engineered by convicted felons Stuart Levine and Joe Cari.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Continued abuse of Pension Funds by politically connected individuals tied back to former Mayor Daley"

Municipal Employees' Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago refuses to comply with FOIA to provide contracts with Robert Vanecko's company DV Urban claiming it would reveal trade secrets!

As a continuation of Corruption Buster's investigation of politically connected deals to siphon management fees from pension funds, a FOIA was issued to obtain information related to private investment monies handed to former Mayor Daley's nephew, Vanecko.

Interestingly, the FOIA response was provided by MEABF's law firm, Burke Burns & Pinelli, headed up by Alderman Ed Burke. The fund did not respond directly.

The information provided included the Board meeting minutes from April 20, 2006, in which the investment in DV Urban Realty Partners I LP was approved. The date of fiduciary appointment was April 28, 2006.

A one page exhibit shows the commitment amount of $15 Million in 2006.

Annualized performance from 2006 to 3/31/2012 was negative 21.1%

Here are the non-refundable management fees garnered by DV Urban despite gross mismanagement of the investment funds

 
Losing investment value while garnering management fees has proven to be very lucrative, especially when the investments have been granted via sole source, politically wired deals!
 

Robert Vanecko was hired by Thomas R. Reedy at Everen Securities in 1998 with no investment banking or municipal bonding experience. Reedy had also hired David Wilhelm after his tenure heading up the Democratic National Committee.  Joe Cari, former head of the Finance Committee for the DNC was also involved. Everen was involved in municipal bonding.

Reedy, Cari, Wilhelm and Vanecko found an opportunity to exploit pension funds private investment monies for the sole purpose of obtaining management fees for personal gain.

Reedy and Cari were investors in Cablesoft, a small software company specializing in infrastructure documentation management (originally established in the UK). Wilhelm was also looking to be an investor in Cablesoft but had not made a capital contribution at that time.

In 2000, Reedy became CEO of Cablesoft and brought Vanecko over as Vice President. Vanecko had no experience with software or technology and very limited business experience. Cablesoft subsequently changed its name to iTRACS.

It is no coincidence that all three corporations established to target pension funds were incorporated in Delaware by the same agent.
 
 
 
 
 
Leveraging the relationship between Joe Cari and Stuart Levine (both convicted felons related to wiring deals at the Teacher Retirement System) specific state and city pension funds were targeted. Cari successfully obtained $35 Million of TRS monies for Healthpoint and Wilhelm obtained $10 Million (as previously reported) by setting up brand new corporations immediately before obtaining funding.

Wilhelm then made an "investment" in iTRACS for $2 Million, controlled by Reedy as a payback for masterminding manipulation of the pension funds.

Vanecko was unsuccessful in obtaining state funds but, partnered with Allison Davis, and subsequently were successful in securing city pension funds. DV Urban Realty Partners I LP is not registered in Illinois as a foreign corporation. Here is the only company on file with the Illinois Secretary of State.




An assertion of protecting trade secrets and failing to provide a copy of the investment contract between Vanecko's DV Urban and MEABF is absurd.

Corruption Busters has filed an appeal with the Illinois Attorney General's Office to obtain a full copy of the investment contract.

Updates will be posted here.




 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TRS refuses to comply with FOIA to provide contracts with
David Wilhelm's Hopewell Ventures claiming it would reveal
trade secrets!

We wonder if Dick Ingram, Executive Director of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System would entrust his personal investment portfolio to David Wilhelm, who must possess some very special trade secrets that results in continuous losses since TRS funds were entrusted to him in 2004.

Again, here is a recap of Wilhelm's acumen and management fees for $10 Million of TRS funds:
FY 2005   -25.80% Mgmt Fees $280,946
FY 2006  -61.40%  Mgmt Fees $383,273
FY 2007   -27.00% Mgmt Fees $534,750
FY 2008  -17.90%  Mgmt Fees $538,092
FY 2009  -66.20%  Mgmt Fees $511,726
FY 2010  -27.60%  Mgmt Fees $334,891
FY 2011  65.80%   Mgmt Fees $325,379  Total Mgmt Fees $2,909,057

This is a 30% erosion of TRS funds without obtaining a respectable return on investment.

We urge Ingram to send out an email to all current and retired teachers with these numbers and ask for their response to the abuse of their pension monies.

On Aug. 15, 2011 this is the response we received from Dave Urbanek, Public Information Officer

"TRS does not have veto power over specific investments made by a private equity firm. That said, investments of TRS money by private equity firms are controlled by specific parameters agreed to by the System and each company. The partnership documents detail the types of investments that can be made and any constraints on the fund managers. The opportunity to manage risk comes during the vetting of a firm by our investment staff and consultants before money is allocated by the Board of Trustees, as well as during the negotiation of the partnership documents."
 
TRS is concealing the content of the partnership agreement and is breaching its fiduciary responsibility to safeguard teachers' assets entrusted to them.
 
We again urge TRS to terminate the contract with Wilhelm and then take all legal means to recover the corpus of the investment monies granted to him by a wired deal instigated by convicted felon, Stuart Levine.

We have filed an appeal with the Illinois Attorney General's Office to obtain these contracts and will post the results here  upon receipt.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Call for Penny Pritzker, US Dept of Commerce Secretary, to initiate an independent investigation and audit of NTIA BTOP stimulus funds

Corruption Busters calls upon the newly appointed Secretary, Penny Pritzker, to immediately convene an independent investigation and audit of waste and abuse of taxpayer funds under the Sustainable Broadband Adoption grants approved from 2010 to 2012 (with some programs still drawing funds into 2013 because they failed to complete their intended programs).

Of particular interest is a line item audit of how the funds were spent. We observed abuse of funds for "management fees" and travel and the failure to actually get people online with sustainable Internet. We were advised by NTIA personnel that the BTOP program's main goal was to create jobs. Our initial findings have determined that applicants grossly overstated job creation; actual jobs created were way below the projections.

There was a failure to provide oversight on an ongoing basis and reports filed quarterly by recipients of the grants were not reviewed for accuracy. One grantee reported that they had informed 1 Million people about the benefits of being on the Internet because they placed a newspaper article and relied upon circulation figures to make that claim to the US Government!

There have already been a number of complaints filed with the Inspector General of Commerce to investigate allegations of gross mismanagement and fraud. 

We also welcome investigations by law enforcement in the event that these abuses are criminal in nature.

For further information contact   corruptionbusters24x7x365@gmail.com




Bilking US Dept of Commerce stimulus monies

Recipe for obtaining $7,416,092 of Federal Stimulus Monies and Matching Funds to achieve sustainable broadband adoption for merely 400 households!

Renamed on Feb. 10, 2011, Connected Living Inc. located at 300 CONGRESS ST STE 406, QUINCY, MA 02196 was originally incorporated in Delaware six years ago on June 26, 2007, as MYWAY VILLAGE, INC.

The officers listed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Annual Corporate Report for 2007 lists Sarah Hoit as President, Andrew Lowenstein as Treasurer and Christopher McWade as Secretary.

According to Linkedin, Sarah Hoit is CEO and co-founder and sits on the board of directors at Connected Living, Inc. Hoit is a career social entrepreneur focused on companies that impact larger social issues through a different outlook on educational delivery. Prior to co-founding Connected Living, Hoit was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Explore, Inc., an after-school and summer program that met the academic and social needs of students in over 75 schools. She also served as Managing Director with Sylvan Learning Systems, a national supplemental education company.

Hoit organized and drafted the business plan as the Director of Business Planning in the White House Office of National Service in the implementation of President Clinton’s AmeriCorps, the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Connected Living's Mission on their webpage www.connectedliving.com

Connected Living brings the extraordinary benefits of leading a connected life to entire populations who were left behind the digital divide. We enhance the lives of seniors and other under served populations by empowering them to connect to each other, connect to opportunity, and connect to a whole new world.


Here are Connected Living's financial statements submitted to the US Dept. of Commerce to obtain a BTOP grant of $4,731,442 leveraging matching funds of $2,097,393 (with a hefty contribution by Illinois Dept. of Commerce).



From inception, Connected Living has negative income, totaling $2,008,043 at the time of the application! Even in the climate of zero equity real estate investments, no prudent lending institution would approve funds to this corporation.....

except for the Department of Commerce using taxpayer funds!

Failing to exercise due diligence and safeguarding of taxpayer assets, on September 13, 2010 Joyce Brigham, Grant Officer for Dept. of Commerce issues an approval to Sarah Hoit in the amount of $4,731,442 Award No. 25-43-B10574.

Next up....How Connected Living convinced US Dept of Commerce to fund their project despite having no liquidity or proven track record of success.
Republicans blast 'wasteful' Internet 
stimulus program...evidence and facts support this allegation.

Corruption Busters latest investigation examines fraud and wasteful spending of stimulus monies administered by US Department of Commerce NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) for BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunity Program) that was purported to close the digital divide across America.

Background

By Brendan Sasso - 02/27/13 04:17 PM ET

House Republicans claimed at a hearing on Wednesday that a federal program aimed at expanding broadband Internet access is rife with wasteful spending.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, accused the Obama administration of wasting millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars on unnecessary projects and overspending through the $7 billion program, which was part of the economic stimulus bill approved by Congress in 2009.

"Promoting broadband is a laudable goal. But there are many laudable goals," Walden said. "From what we know now, the government has spent millions on equipment it did not need and on stringing fiber to areas that already had it."

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) questioned the necessity of the broadband stimulus and suggested that the $2.5 billion in unused funds should be given back to the Treasury. 

Larry Stricking, the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which oversees BTOP, pushed back against the Republican criticism in several testy exchanges with lawmakers.
He argued that West Virginia received heavy discounts for the high-end routers, meaning it was a better fiscal decision to buy them than lower capacity routers.

"We're confusing the capabilities of what they're getting with the cost that they paid," Strickling insisted.

Barton pressed Strickling to estimate how many homes the program has connected to broadband Internet.

"You're misapprehending the focus of our program," Strickling said, arguing that the NTIA focused on expanding "middle-mile" broadband networks to schools, libraries and hospitals, while encouraging private companies to extend the networks to homes and businesses. 

So, how effective was the two year program that began in 2010 and mostly concluded in 2012?

We will next examine case studies to illustrate how millions of dollars spent DID NOT result to SUSTAINABLE BROADBAND ADOPTION.