“Nobody admits to anything” settlements accompanied by hundreds of millions in corporate payouts to “non-victims” have long stuck in my craw. Now judges are choking. About time. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/business/neither-admit-nor-deny-settlements-draw-judges-scrutiny.html
Living large at a quasi-public/quasi-private insurer of workers comp in Missouri. Such corporate style high-life draws outrage no matter how slim the government connection, witness Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executive compensation. However, these executive salaries, perks, sports boxes and conferences at posh resorts are routine at private firms that issue insurance and finance mortages. STLToday.com: Missouri audit blasts state-sponsored insurer.
Warning signs of an impending critical plague of bankruptcies and near-bankruptcies that will infect political jurisdications countrywide. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/nyregion/to-pay-new-york-pension-fund-cities-borrow-from-it-first.html
Government usually can’t outbid the private sector for top-notch IT talent. So, beyond a substantial cadre of talented altruists–the IT shop gets run by the second team. New York State’s second team allegedly wined, dined, wheeled and dealed with select vendors, which is a no-no in government though not uncommon in business. Government Technology, February 28, 2012. New York Officials Promise Reforms After Scathing IT Audit.
Something to be said for statistical analysis to root out potential fraud, though in this case the absolute body count would have sufficed. See Los Angeles Times: Doctor charged in nation’s largest healthcare fraud scam.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey–a ninety year old agency with two governmental parents who’ve never let go–is up to a four billion and counting cost overrun for the Freedom Tower complex rising on the World Trade Center site. The two first-term governors–New Jersey’s Christie and New York’s Coumo–want better management, but somehow overlook how political tentacles winding through the Port Authority from each state do much to gum up the works. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/nyregion/port-authority-called-dysfunctional-by-auditors.html
Vast quantities of mortgage documentation flying every which way, from Fannie Mae to banks to successive mortgage servicers to foreclosure firms, often defying the ability of any participant to keep track, or even keep the paperwork legal. Didn’t matter. Homeowners got double-whammied by different holders of their home loan notes. Or collection and foreclosures moved forward with missing documentation and forged affidavits. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/business/mortgage-tornado-warning-unheeded.html
It seems no great challenge to embezzle from religious organizations, regardless of denomination. Where internal controls are weak, and being a pious, hard-working team player provides further insulation from scrutiny, there’s lots of latitude to concoct rip-offs, as this accounting clerk allegedly did in the offices of the Archdiocese of New York. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/nyregion/new-york-archdiocese-bookkeeper-charged-with-stealing-1-million.html?ref=romancatholicchurch Just a few days later, on February 3, the Archbishop of Philadelphia apologized for the million or so a senior staff member had stolen. New Jersey next?
Rabbi Youlus took to calling himself the “Jewish Indiana Jones” for uncovering and restoring Torahs from Holocaust-related sites. Many happily contributed to Rabbi Indiana’s noble work. Turns out the Rabbi’sTorah rescues were no less a fantasy than Raiders of the Lost Ark–only the fraud was real. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/nyregion/rabbi-menachem-youlus-says-he-lied-about-saving-torahs.html