Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BOONDOGGLE: Oh Those Audits! We Should Have More. By Geniusofdespair

Whether it was poor planning and/or operational deficits, Galata’s facility purchase (In Homestead) was impacted by questionable financial practices. - Inspector General Audit
Everyone should know where their County tax dollars are going. Here is one place: Galata. This is an example of your hard earned tax dollars going, going, gone.
Chriselda and Joseph G. "Billy" Louis, President & CEO of Galata. Insert: Lynda Bell with Chriselda.

Miami New Times reported on this Non-Profit Galata Inc. and a January 8, 2013 Inspector General audit of that non-profit:
"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.
Note the Non-Profit was also caught in a lie:

They lied, but hey, we are still writing them checks. This lie could have made them ineligible for the grant in the first place, but no-one at the county performed a simple search of County Clerk Records. That 2 minute search could have easily uncovered the lie.

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.

Will all of you do me one favor: Stop voting for all these stupid bonds. We pay taxes for a reason. Why on earth would you add to your tax with a bond?


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is not some unique non profit waste of taxpayer funds. Many "help" groups appear to use funds in unauthorized ways, with little or no governmental oversight. Why are people not prosecuted for falsely reporting on legal documents?
How much funding given by the local governments never reach the intended recipients? The whole grant system appears to be broken, and needs immediate attention.

Anonymous said...

The Homestead CRA is just as bad giving out funds to insiders instead of legitimate businesses in the area!

I hope Gimenez does something other than look for another Dump site in Redland!

The buck stops with him and Fernandez Rundle! What part of Fraud is legal?

Alice said...

Giving each needy family a lump sum once a month would save us tax dollars. The overhead at these facilities with high salaries and buildings is ridiculous. With the million dollars you have identified, we could give 400 people $200 a month and have less headaches.

Anonymous said...

The county should be running these instead of farming out services to non profits. Privitazation is a farce.

Anonymous said...

Last anon, it's a taxpayer funded ponzi scheme at the hands of the County Commission!

Anonymous said...

Note in the letter they said they were conducting renovations. Yet during the IGO's office in 2012 Still found them rennovating ---3 years of renovations with 50 percent unusable? Mayor Carlos, isn't another site visit in order?

Anonymous said...

I meant to say site inspection in 2012.

Fellow Taxpayer said...

We are giving them tax money to buy a building that THEY OWN?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the county have a list of all the people Galeta serves and call them to see what services they are REALLY getting.

Anonymous said...

I saw one check made out by the County for $54,000 last February, do you know what that was for?

Anonymous said...

These organizations are ripping off taxpayers with plenty of help from politicians. The OIG need to audit We Care! Community Health of South Florida Inc. and all of the nonprofits located in Homestead. If they get checks from the county or state-- audit.
Audits need to be done on the County's Finance Department and Tax Collectors Office. This stealing and corruptness needs to stop. Swing open the jail. We might not be able to totally stop this but we can slow this down. Just watch who we see down at county hall every year begging for money. All the executives of these programs drive expensive cars at our expense.

Anonymous said...

Project SOS, Weed and Seed, MUJER, Le Jardin, Sweet Vine and of course close the book on all of them. Ripoffs of taxpayers, millions of dollars to babysit so mama can watch Maury, Springer and Judge Mathis.

Anonymous said...

Hey you forgot to mention the $120,000 balloon mortgage at 36% interest.

Anonymous said...

Of course, there's Lynda Bell! If there's a taxpayer funded giveaway, bad environmental policy, development outside the UDB, rock mining in the Everglades (yep, redundant) or anything supporting her pro life anti gay agenda - she's right there.

I would expect Mayor for Life Wallace and his multi million dollar tax payer funded lifestyle. Maybe that's Bell's end goal, but I doubt the Redland Hotel will get her there, unless it burns down and insurance picks up the tab!

And, note to Gimenez & Sosa, as long as you keep enabling these train wreck tax payer boondoggles, you're in the same boat as Bell as far as I'm concerned and that does hurt because I supported you both! You can do better, and hopefully will. And, hopefully, Bell will go the way of stage coaches!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the county giving away OUR property to the YMCA. The items was either deferred or withdrawn but I guarantee it will come back again perhaps under another item.

Anonymous said...

ANON the YMCA taking over MDC PROS item was deferred to april.
Now Lets get an Audit of THE CITY OF SOUTH MIAMI and the millions of dollars OF MC GOB used to pay down a loan for a non existent YMCA, Project Sunset, UM (Jordan Commons II) aka Red Road Commons and Two Public Pools. Shall we MDC OIG??

Anonymous said...

We need to really limit these grant programs period. It doesn't matter how they're allocated, there's always going to be smarter people than the County ready to game the system - just like Wall Street & the Banks gaming whatever federal regulations come there way.

There needs to be priority funding with grant money. No more of this "guarantee of a number of jobs" because as quickly as they hire, they can fire. I want only grants given out for the public benefit with proven 3 year (just putting a number in there) track record of legitimate "public support" per the IRS 501c3 rules. I'd like to cap grants to an income threshold ratio as well....I have ideas, the county won't listen because too many insiders wouldn't or couldn't qualify on the "prove what your doing benefits the community" in a nut shell!

Anonymous said...

Send County, State Tax revenue earmark for grants to the FEDS then have the FEDS distribute this Tax revenue as FEDERAL Grants, the FEDS having unlimited resources, unlimited jurisdiction, and heavier penalties over State and Local government along
with private Corporations..
FEDS do not PLAY ask mr. US Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer.

Anonymous said...

To the persons who are interested in knowing of the services that were provided at Galata Social Services: FOR FREE!!!!!!!!!!
With concern love and devotion, under paid case managers would provide services to anyone who would enter our doors--located at 916 N. Flagler ave Homestead,Florida 33030
Yes, you should ask the news media to broadcast in the news that anyone who was assisted by the staff of Galata Social Services to come foward and tell their story. YOU!!!!!!!!! will be stocked on how many will come forward telling the stories of success due to the assistance given at this social service. People who were lost and homeless and now working and owning their home, immigrants who thought they would never pocess a green card are now Citizens of the USA, clients with mental issues, directed to the proper channels with follow ups, elderly who no one cared about--received home visits the things those case workers did for those in dire need were to many to list.
Those casemanagers, and staff were not responsible for the administion or lack there of. Please think before you speak.
You, had the nerve of posting have now the nerve and pants to call the news media and see what the service was all about.
Those casemanager,driver,teachers, Director of activities, program manager worked hard and long UNPAID hours!!!! to provide the greatest services in South Dade.
So for the future please be so kind and separate one from the other. Thank you

Anonymous said...

How is the construction on Billy Louis's Haitian mansion going? The bathrooms should have all of the gold fixtures and marble in by now.

Anonymous said...

The feds should check out this low life. Joseph G. Louis has no shame. He never cared of those around him. He is a two face who has a dream of becomng just like ottis walace when he grows up. He happened to open another office located at 1001 N. Krome ave. In Homestead across the wellsfargo bank. Suite 109. He still is using the name of galata social services.
If he has no money. How is he running this business? He is not receiving any funds. Or is he?

Oh. I forgot. He is getting the rent money from those five homes he was NOT suppose to receive. Why you ask?

He is a resident only. He refuses or cannot become an American citizen.
He is a citizen of Haiti.
He filed bankruptcy
He does not have any money to pay his employees their back pay.
He however is able to buy a mansion in Haiti which he recently put in his mother name
He started a construction buisness in Haiti
He bought a few bull dozers. In Hiati
Where are the FEDS!!!?
This person is getting away with so much and no one is doing anything about it.

There was tranportation money given. Joseph G. Louis would request a flse receipt from the mecanics in exchange for money. The invoice would read. $5000. For the repair of one of the buses used to transport the elderly and children,however. The only repair done was change of tires and small things like battery oil change ect.
If all of the buses were to be lifted and inspected

What the person would see is all of the original parts in those vehicles. Josph louis was taking those invoices and filig them thern placing the money in his pocket. His couin kernal. Mitchel
Who claims to being an Accountant in Haiti was the one handling all of Joseph Louis transactons. She was heard. Crying out loud. On several occations. I don't want to go to jail.
Joseph G Louis. Sister is trying to get an attorney to assist her and joseph G Louis not to be foreclosed on by the bank. She was willing to lie if need be and state that she was part of the board.
There is so much that needs to be addressed. They should be stoped by the Feds. A
Handcuffed and exposed to the Media.

Joseph G.Louis also known as Billy to many. Has lost his wife because he Joseph Louis would spend more time in Haiti than in the USA.
Joseph G Luis used to come every other week just to pick up his check and return ti Haiti a few days later. This too can be checked by the Feds.
Whenever Joseph G Louis would bring the majors from Haiti for the annual meetings. He Joseph G Louis would pay for it with Galata Money from the grants.
Later he would take those same invoice and reclaim the money from the grants received in Haiti. There is a Galata Social Service in Port u Prince Hiati.

Anonymous said...

To all concern of the renovation that never took place.
Many contractors were USED to attempt the renovation with the promise that the money would soon be sent by the county,however when the contractors came nd realized that another week had gone by and still there was no pay,they would leave. Wouldn't you?
One of the contractor came back for his equipment and was told by joseph Louis sister that he could not remove his belongings that what was inside of Galata belonged to Galata. The gentleman. Told joseph Louis sister. Your brother owes me for services rendered. I hve said nothing however I will remove my things at this time. It took another ex employee to calm her down.

Bottom line. Grant Money was not used for the right reasons.
He and his entire family should not be allowed to be in business.

Anonymous said...

To anyone with informtion on how to stop joseph G Louis ex-excutive want to be boss of Galata Social Service. Please post them. Many of us are interested in paying a ticket to Haiti permently after doing time here.
What. Is going on with Regions Bank! Don't they get it? This man also known as billy. Can not be TRUSTED. Close Galata. And allow for another agency with a heart to serve the community and not their pockets have the building.

Anonymous said...

Finally Joseph Cantron Loûis. Is all washed out!
Galata Social Services is closed, his sister was exposed . The five houses were returned to the city of Homestead.