Sunday, November 14, 2010

The City of Bell and The Pechanga Tribe have Commonality? Their Auditors

Original Pechanga's Blog contributor Attila the CPA found that The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, who are well known to have cheated hundreds of tribal members out of their rightful tribal benefits including: Per Capita payments, healthcare coverage, voting rights and educational assistance and the CITY OF BELL, CA share AUDITORS.

Attila the CPA:

The Bell City government leaders have spent time behind bars for paying themselves huge salaries and pensions from funds extracted from the people of the city of Bell. Both the city of Bell and the Pechanga tribal Government headed by Mark Macarro share the same Governmental Accounting requirements, and, as it turns out, employ the same accounting firm.

According to the LA Times, “Accountants gave Bell clean reports, ignoring red flags that pointed to excessive salaries, illegal taxes and failure to follow reporting requirements. A Times review finds Bell is far from being alone. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating potential civil rights and voting rights violations by the city, and the state controller, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the State Department of Corporations also have launched investigations into Bell's finances.

The scandal in the city of Bell has resulted in seven separate investigations and one round of criminal charges against former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and other current and former officials. But year after year, during a period marked by record salaries, illegal taxes, loans to insiders and arbitrary fees on businesses, the cities outside auditors, Mayer Hoffman McCann, gave Bell's financial record a clean bill of health.”

Meyer, Hoffman McCann has been the Auditor for the Pechanga Tribal Government for the past four years and a review of the relationship is appropriate. The tribal Membership of Pechanga has an obligation to insist on an accounting of the salaries and benefits paid to tribal Officials, and that the abuses in the City of Bell’s finances are not repeated in the Pechanga Tribal Government.

OP:    Does the membership know where the salaries are at this point?   Where the expenses are going?   There was a large contingent in Washington DC recently, visiting on the water rights issues we've written about previously  HERE    HERE looks like more than the ICRA should receive attention from Congressional oversight hearings.


Anonymous said...

If membership cares then they should walk into the accounting and ask to see the books. They can do that if they choose and the accounting dept heads can't tell them no. It is the right of the GM. The accounting dept is probably still behind on the audits! I wonder does the GM even care! I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Would a tribe that steals from its citizens have any second thoughts about using a firm that's incompetent?

More likely, they chose them for a reason.

Anonymous said...

How can the state of California trust tribes to accurately report their earnings, when they use a firm like Hoffman McCann which was incompetent with the City of Bell?

Could the Tribal Council be taking more money from the tribe without their knowledge?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can the state attorney general call for an audit of Pechanga, or more truely, any customer of Hoffman McCann?

Anonymous said...

No one can call for an audit of Pechanga, only the General Membership can, but I doubt they would do so unless there per capita checks were to stop.

No government agency, no private agency, no one can call for an independent audit. Imagine that, millions upon millions of dollars passing through greedy little fingers with no real accounting as to where it goings.

You will never convince me that some of it isn't being siphoned off from some one or parties.

Anonymous said...

“No one can call for an audit of Pechanga, only the General Membership can, but I doubt they would do so unless there per capita checks were to stop."

Not exactly. IRS (The Internal Revenue Service), (Franchise Tax Board), NIGC (National Indian Gaming Commission) and {California Gaming Control Boards can call for the audit of the Tribe, Casino, and the Individuals active in tribal leadership, and the individual tribal members. The tax returns of the tribal membership are fair game, and the membership, in some cases, may be required to repay the tribe for erroneous or fraudulent distributions. It may take a while, but Bobby Salgado will be among friends soon.