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August 2, 2012 | By Andrew Tangel, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - For decades, the U.S. government has stashed gold five stories beneath Manhattan in a vault under the Federal Reserve's fortress near Wall Street. Or has it? Some conspiracy theorists suspect that the billions of dollars' worth of bullion might have been looted in a dramatic heist, a la the movie "Die Hard: With a Vengeance. " Others claim that the gold has been used in a shadowy government transaction, or swapped with gold-painted bars. It's even caught the attention of politicians like Rep. Ron Paul and members of Germany's Parliament.
April 15, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
When three city officials were arrested trying to shake down a marijuana dispensary owner, Cudahy was branded a town where bribes were routine and elections were rigged. On Tuesday, state officials added one more indignity to Cudahy's battered reputation: a city with a staggering inability to keep an eye on public funds. In a damning audit, the state controller concluded that leaders in the working-class town used city-issued credit cards for excessive travel, meals and entertainment, mismanaged state funds and had virtually no internal controls to prevent the misuse of taxpayer dollars.
March 6, 2014 | By Christopher Goffard
Counties in California have failed to properly document how $1.7 million in Indian gaming money was distributed, according to an audit released Thursday by the California state auditor's office. State lawmakers earmarked $39 million for the Indian gaming special distribution fund between the fiscal years 2010 and 2013, money which was then distributed to local governments to offset the impact of casinos in the area. The money often funds public safety, public health and roads projects.
April 10, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Significant holes in record keeping at Los Angeles International Airport and inadequate oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration has made it difficult to ensure that millions of dollars in airport revenue are being spent properly for law enforcement, a new government audit has found. The review by the U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general revealed that Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX, has paid at least $7.9 million in the last few years to the Los Angeles Police Department without documentation showing that the services provided were airport-related.
September 10, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO --The California parks department, which was rocked by an accounting scandal last year, still has more work to do, according to a new audit released Tuesday. The department still lacks a system to track spending at individual parks, the report said, and internal budgets are finalized too slowly to adequately plan park operations. The report is the second part of a review conducted by the state auditor at the request of California lawmakers. The first part was released in February.
July 31, 2013 | By Diana Marcum
A leaked early draft of state Controller John Chiang's audit of Stockton's finances found that more than half of the accounting controls investigated were ineffective and that Stockton leaders had missed warning signs, according to the Stockton Record . The Central Valley port city of 300,000, epicenter of California's agricultural exports, filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2012, becoming California's largest city to fail. It was the nation's largest city to seek bankruptcy until Detroit filed for protection this month.
July 2, 2013 | By Joel Rubin
Members of the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday expressed concern and frustration over the findings of an audit that concluded the LAPD fails to take basic steps to curtail costly lawsuits filed by officers. The audit , conducted by the commission's inspector general, found the LAPD routinely destroys case files, keeps inaccurate and incomplete information on lawsuits, and has no system in place to identify recurring issues that lead to problems between officers. The Times first reported on the audit last week . Commissioner Rafael Bernardino wasted no time at the panel's weekly meeting in leveling a sharp criticism at department officials, calling the audit findings "horrible.
May 30, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
City leaders in scandal-battered Cudahy are asking the state to audit the city's finances and internal controls in the wake of a series of city hall bribery arrests. Last year, three officials in the working-poor L.A. County city -- including two long-term council members -- were hauled away by FBI agents for extortion and bribery. The cases revealed a city marred by corruption, election fixing and drug use in city hall, officials said. Now, the newly elected mayor and vice-mayor of Cudahy are asking State Controller John Chiang to audit the city's finances and internal controls.
March 13, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- State lawmakers Wednesday morning will discuss a Republican request for an audit of databases on mentally ill residents and gun ownership. Severe mental health cases are supposed to be reported to law enforcement so disturbed people can be barred from owning guns. However, some GOP lawmakers are concerned that the information may not be relayed consistently.  When issuing the request for an audit last month, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) said in a statement that, "we need to be able to come together and ensure that those who are dangerous mentally ill individuals are not able to obtain or possess a firearm and potentially hurt themselves or others.
February 18, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- The U.S. government's gold in New York is safe in a vault underneath Manhattan, and some of the precious metal there is purer than previously thought. That's according to a first-ever audit conducted last year by the Treasury Department of U.S. gold on deposit at Federal Reserve banks in New York and elsewhere. As part of the audit, the Treasury tested a sample of the government's 34,021 gold bars in the New York Fed's vault five stories below Manhattan's financial district, according to the inspector general's office.
April 9, 2014 | By Shan Li
As the deadline for tax season nears, a study shows that many tax preparers are prone to errors when preparing returns for their clients. The Government Accountability Office released the report this week based on visits to 19 randomly selected tax preparers. Of the 19 tax professionals visited, 17 calculated the wrong refund amount, the GAO said. One gave a customer $52 less than the proper refund, for example, while another over-calculated the amount by $3,718. PHOTOS: World's most expensive cities A dozen of the tax preparers failed to report certain income such as cash tips, while three claimed a child as a dependent who was ineligible.
April 8, 2014 | Claire Noland
Mary Anderson, a redheaded actress who auditioned for the part of Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 epic "Gone With the Wind" but wound up playing a supporting role as Maybelle Merriwether, died Sunday. She was 96. A longtime resident of Brentwood, Anderson died under hospice care in Burbank. She had been in declining health and had suffered a series of small strokes, said her longtime friend Betty Landess. Anderson was one of the last surviving cast members of the film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's Civil War novel.
April 3, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- California's ethics and tax agencies now have more power to conduct campaign finance investigations under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday. The law gives the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Franchise Tax Board the ability to begin audits, before an election occurs, of campaigns suspected of illegal activities, even if campaign statements or finance reports have not yet been filed. It also explicitly allows the commission to seek an injunction in Superior Court to compel disclosure.
March 26, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
MILWAUKEE - It's been a common theme this season, all those Lakers in the last year of their contracts. It can lead to friction - Pau Gasol poked at the selfishness of some teammates after a loss last month in Memphis - and can obviously lead to frayed play. But Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni has a different view. He hopes everybody is incentivized to play the final 12 games with a purpose, even if it's primarily financial. "They're auditioning for 29 general managers.
March 25, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint Assistant Auditor Controller John Naimo as interim head of the county's audit department. Current Auditor-Controller Wendy Watanabe is retiring after 25 years with the county. She was appointed head auditor-controller in 2009, making her the first woman to hold the position. The department is tasked with monitoring and administering the county's $25-billion budget, including setting fiscal policies, administering the county's payroll, apportioning property taxes, auditing county departments and vendors, and conducting fraud investigations.
March 23, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - The mayor and other city officials are set to formally announce Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to their request to perform a management practices audit on the Police Department. The audit is meant to "help restore public trust" in the department following two recent cases of allegations that officers assaulted women while on duty. One officer has been charged, a second is being investigated. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Atty. Jan Goldsmith and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman are set for a news conference at the U.S. attorney's office to discuss the audit, which was first requested by Zimmerman's predecessor, Bill Lansdowne.
April 8, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
With the state about to tap a surplus from gun registration fees to increase enforcement efforts, a group of 31 Republican lawmakers called Monday for an audit of the account to determine whether gun owners are being overcharged. The legislators said the Dealers' Record of Sale Special Account should be looked at by the state auditor to determine whether the fee is set at a rate that only covers the state's cost to conduct the required background check of the gun purchaser. The fee was increased from $14 to $19 in 2004.
October 17, 2013
Talk with Times reporter Jack Dolan at 9 a.m. about an upcoming audit of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Two weeks after demanding details on how two nonprofits run by the agency and its biggest union spent more than $40 million, the agency's commissioners changed tack Wednesday and agreed to let the groups audit themselves. The five members of the panel, four of whom were recently appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, voted to give the groups, formed about a decade ago to help improve labor relations, a month to account for the expenditure of ratepayer funds.
March 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California's deficit-plagued unemployment insurance program missed out on more than half a billion dollars in federal money in recent years when state officials failed to take advantage of a new federal program. The California state auditor said Thursday that all the Employment Development Department needed to do was invest about $323,000 in computer software modifications to recoup $516 million in money overpaid to people getting jobless benefits between February 2011 and September 2014.
March 12, 2014 | By Amy Reiter
The coaches took their teams from almost full to completely full on "The Voice" on Tuesday. "I truly believe that we all have winners on our team," Adam Levine said magnanimously as the final night of blinds kicked off. Later, though, he was less generous. "Team Adam is the best team," he said. "Duh. " Levine and fellow coaches Blake Shelton, Usher and Shakira all added solid talent to their rosters Tuesday. PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Shelton filled the final spot on his team with Kaleigh Glanton, a 20-year-old classical guitarist, singer and CrossFit enthusiast from Wichita, Kan., who turned all four chairs with her take on "Have You Seen the Rain?"
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