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Posts Tagged ‘government’

Printer Cartridge Fraud

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and City of Philadelphia Chief Inspector Amy Kurland announced that Derek Willis, 50, and his wife, Danita Willis, 36, owners of Laser Cartridge Plus Inc. (LCP), were sentenced to prison time and were ordered to pay full restitution to the City for their participation in a scheme that defrauded the City of more than $1.3 million.

Derek Willis, 49, and Danita Willis, 35, of Russellville, Ark., pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud, obstruction of justice and perjury for knowingly making false statements to a federal grand jury on April 29, 2014.

Beginning June 4, 2016, Danita Willis will serve 12 months and one day in prison, which will be followed by 36 months of supervised release. She is required to pay a $700 special assessment. After her release, Derek Willis will serve 36 months in prison, which will be followed by 36 months supervised release. He is required to pay a $900 special assessment. Both will pay full restitution of $1,368,091.19 to the City.

“This case highlights the City’s need for more effective oversight and the importance of the public’s participation in rooting out corruption, fraud and abuse. Like this one, most of our cases originate from tips and complaints from the general public,” said Inspector General Kurland. “This sentence serves as a powerful reminder that the OIG will not tolerate the theft of City dollars that are sorely needed for City services. We will do whatever we can to prevent similar wrongdoing in the future.”

The investigation began in September 2011 when a City employee reported patterns of suspicious purchases to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The Willises owned Laser Cartridge Plus, Inc. (LCP), a business located in Russellville, Arkansas. They were contacted by Calvin Duncan who, at the time, worked as a mailroom clerk in the Philadelphia Water Department. As part of his responsibilities, Duncan was responsible for mail deliveries and purchasing supplies, including printer ink and toner cartridges, for the PWD’s administrative offices.

Duncan submitted requests for approval to purchase printer ink and toner cartridges, falsely claiming that the cartridges were for PWD employees. After receiving the cartridges from vendors – at the City’s expense – Duncan sold them to LCP at prices significantly lower than those usually charged by ink and toner cartridge vendors. The Willises knew that the cartridges were stolen.

The scam resulted in the City paying about $1,368,000 on purchase orders and shipping costs for ink and toner cartridges that were never used by the City. The Willises paid Duncan, who pleaded guilty in 2013, about $545,400, which was not due him.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the City of Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tomika N. Stevens.

Montco Budget

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

The Montgomery County Commissioners adopted a $375.7 million general fund budget and other associated budgets that include an increase in the county’s reserve fund, increases spending on much needed infrastructure projects, lowers debt service, provides pay increases to county workers, and contributes to the county pension fund all without raising taxes.

In addition to the general fund budget, the commissioners also adopted a $93.1 million capital budget and a n $11.7 million open space budget. The 2014 budget assumes the completion of the sale of the Human Services Center and the Parkhouse nursing facility. The budget also projects a year-ending fund balance equivalent to 11 percent of
revenues, which is consistent with the level recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association. Under the previous administration, the county’s fund balance had been drained from nearly $100 million to under $20 million and resulted, in large part, in the county losing its coveted AAA bond rating. The projected fund balance for 2014 is $41.1 million. The new budget also assumes a required payment to the county’s pension fund for the second consecutive year after five years of no contributions.

“This is a balanced budget that does not raise taxes, makes critical investments in human services, infrastructure, public safety, and our county workforce,” said Josh Shapiro, chair of the board of commissioners. “It returns our county reserve fund to required levels, lowers our debt service, again makes a payment to the pension fund, continues the process of making our government more effective and efficient and reduces overall spending.”

Philadelphia’s Private Business

Friday, July 19th, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Some of the city’s business partnerships are being called into question? For instance, why is Philadelphia partnering with Anheuser-Busch, Live Nation and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter for the Budweiser Made In America Concert? In fact, to get into Budweiser’s website to read the press release you have to enter your age and be over 21.

Now, Philadelphia has announced an association with a corporation declared to be an illegal monopoly by the Department Of Justice — Microsoft.

The City of Philadelphia was named a Showcase City last week as a part of Microsoft Corporation CityNext, a global initiative to empower cities, businesses and citizens to re-imagine their futures and cultivate vibrant communities. As a Showcase City, Philadelphia will receive at least three years of priority attention and support from Microsoft, including the Microsoft Partner Network of more than 430,000 technology experts, to help the City accelerate its ability to adopt innovative technologies.

“In today’s world, technology is developing faster and faster and with broader purposes. This partnership with Microsoft will better enable us to access the latest technology solutions and resources to leverage innovative practices to meet our Administration goals,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I want to thank Adel Ebeid, our Chief Innovation Officer, for his dedicated leadership that made this opportunity possible. I also want to thank Microsoft for seeing Philadelphia’s innovative spirit and selecting us as a Showcase City.”

Initial brainstorming sessions between City officials and Microsoft Corp. Senior Executives have focused potential support areas, including:

* Assisting the City to establish a ‘municipal innovation lab’;
* Proofing the City’s concept for the creation of an office-of-the-future to streamline service delivery and improve workforce productivity;
* Providing technical support for hack-a-thons and developer camps;
* Awarding a software grant to a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education non-profit; and
* Creating a technical program to support minority students.

The City of Philadelphia was one of thirteen cities selected by the CityNext initiative and the only North American city.