|Whether it was poor planning and/or operational deficits, Galata’s facility purchase (In Homestead) was impacted by questionable financial practices. - Inspector General Audit|
|Chriselda and Joseph G. "Billy" Louis, President & CEO of Galata. Insert: Lynda Bell with Chriselda.|
"Back in 2008, Galata Inc., a social service agency that assists minorities and low income residents in Homestead, was one of 37 local non-profit organizations that received a no-questions-asked Miami-Dade County grant. Galata got $500,000 from a $30 million pot that was part of the county's Building Better Communities general obligation bond program. The organization told Miami-Dade officials it would use the money to pay off most of a $531,000 mortgage on its 5,000-plus square foot recreational center at 916 North Flagler Ave. in Homestead."
"But five years later, an audit by the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office is accusing Galata of misusing some of the funds. The review found that the social services agency used some its grant proceeds, which were generated through property tax revenue, to pay the IRS $77,307 for payroll taxes Galata did not remit to the federal government between 2005 through 2007. At the time, the non-profit organization had been hit with tax liens. The inspector general also hammered Galata for using the county grant as collateral to get into more debt."
|From Building Better Communities Audit. Looks like a ponzi scheme of payments.|
|Letter from Galata, explaining away it's flubs. Notice Giraud Title's name. Girard Title is defunct. Marie Girard was caught stealing escrow money and was arrested for grand theft. The last event filed for this Girard Corporation was April 27, 2009.|
|Money given to Galata, Inc. from the County the last 3 years - Not counting the bond money. This is over a half of million bucks. Is anyone auditing this money?|
This IGO Audit went to Carlos Gimenez in January. I wonder what he has done since the audit? Has policy changed? has anyone done a site visit in 2013? According to the audit:
"On June 13, 2012, OIG staff conducted a site visit to the project’s location. OIG audit staff observed that, while services were being offered at this location, approximately 50% of the building was non-functional, since it was in the process of being renovated. The condition of the occupied portion was dusty, but the outside facade was clean."
Sometimes I think we would be better off handing needy people a couple of hundred a month instead of offering services that no one seems to be watching over. Oh, Galata, Inc. also has another tax Lien. There was one dated 11/14/2012 for $13,000.
This Galata post reminds me of a recent story I posted on a Miami Beach Clinic that no one was properly monitoring, millions were embezzled, including county taxpayer funds -- but we are STILL writing plenty of county checks to that entity.
|Florida City Mayor Otis Wallace with President, CEO of Galata, Joseph G. Louis.|