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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Two auditors who helped expose violations in Boeing Co.'s financial reporting practices weren't entitled to whistleblower protections because they leaked the information to a newspaper instead of the appropriate authorities, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. A federal accounting law — the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 — protects whistleblowers in publicly traded companies only when they report the irregularities to financial regulators, Congress or their supervisors, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said.
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NATIONAL
March 13, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency and BP announced Thursday an agreement that would allow the energy giant to bid once again on deep-water offshore drilling leases, reversing a government decision two years ago to bar the company from federal contracts following its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In what became the country's worst offshore environmental disaster, BP's Macondo well blew out in April 2010, killing 11 workers and spewing more than 4 million barrels of oil into the gulf.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2010 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
An auditing firm that has come under scrutiny for failing to uncover corruption in the city of Bell has hired an independent accounting company to review its practices as some government agencies review their ties with the firm. CalPERS, the state employee retirement fund, has decided not to give Mayer Hoffman McCann any more work until state Controller John Chiang completes a review of Bell's auditing. Officials in several Southern California cities said they too are waiting to see Chiang's report before deciding what to do. Mayer Hoffman conducts outside audits for numerous California government agencies as well as some federal agencies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
Every year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department makes more than $1 million from inmates who don't claim the money they have on the sheriff's books once they are released. Rather than using that money to boost their own revenue, sheriff's officials should have been alerting the county treasurer to put out a public notice about the funds. And if they would have remained unclaimed, the money should have gone to the county's general fund, not the Sheriff's Department. That problem and others were detailed in a report released Thursday by the county's auditor-controller.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2011 | By Karen E. Klein
Dear Karen: You answered a question about getting an IRS notice. What if you're being audited? Answer: Get professional representation. Your accountant or attorney can determine precisely what information is being requested, whereas your presence at an audit invites incomplete or off-the-cuff answers that could raise additional issues, said Larry M. Elkin, president of Palisades Hudson Financial Group in New York. "Do not extend the statute of limitations if you are asked," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2010 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
More than 100 lawyers and auditors working for California's prison oversight office are classified as peace officers, carrying guns, driving state cars home at night and becoming eligible for the generous pensions offered to people who risk their lives in the name of public safety. None of the 105 sworn peace officers in the California Office of the Inspector General has made an arrest, fired a gun in the line of duty or responded to an emergency in a state car in the last five years, according to a report issued Tuesday by the state Senate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2011 | By Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times
Vulnerable people across California have ended up in state-licensed facilities that also harbored sex offenders because regulators failed to check the state registry for such offenders, officials acknowledged Thursday. State Auditor Elaine M. Howle said the California Department of Social Services failed to check the sex offender registry even after her office advised the agency to do so in 2008. "Both social services and county [child welfare services] agencies need to better ensure that these placements are safe," auditors reported in an examination that also looked at child welfare operations in three California counties in particular.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2009 | Times Wire Services
The Treasury Department should deny American International Group Inc. $30 billion in bailout funds until the company agrees to take back millions in bonuses and negotiate cheaper exits from its financial contracts, congressional auditors said Tuesday. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve have committed more than $182 billion to save AIG, and the Treasury now owns nearly 80% of the New York company. Experts warn the insurance giant may require more money.
BUSINESS
December 8, 1986 | AL DELUGACH, Times Staff Writer
A Cannon Group stockholder, whose shares plunged 65% in market value since he bought them Nov. 3, has brought a class-action suit against the troubled Hollywood film maker's former auditors. Cannon's top officers and controlling shareholders, Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus, as well as other officers and directors also are named as defendants, as they have been in previous suits. However, the new suit was the first naming Mann Judd Landau of Beverly Hills, which was replaced Oct.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2012 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
The chairman of a community college foundation embroiled in a fiscal scandal stepped aside Friday at a meeting during which the foundation's board discussed bringing in a forensic accountant to comb through its books. The Los Angeles Trade-Technical College Foundation, which raises funds intended to help students at the working-class school, has come under scrutiny over lavish bonuses and expenses paid to the foundation's executive director, Rhea Chung, who is now on administrative leave.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Preliminary findings of an audit of the Great Park showed irregularities and raises questions about the financial and structural management of the $200-million project. Among other things, the review concludes that some contractors who were awarded low-bid contracts ultimately billed the city far more than originally estimated, in most cases because of change orders approved by the Irvine City Council. The contractor that won the right to construct a preview park, for instance, ended up billing the city five times its original bid. In some instances, services were paid for twice, and some work done by a public relations consultant for individual council members was billed to the park, the report says.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2014 | By Jack Dolan
Brian D'Arcy, leader of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's largest union, failed to appear at a meeting Wednesday morning to begin explaining how more than $40 million in ratepayer money was spent by two nonprofits he co-manages. City Controller Ron Galperin is attempting to audit the nonprofits -- the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute -- following a Times report in September that showed the city-owned utility had only scant information on how the money has been used.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2013 | By Jack Dolan
The politically powerful head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's largest union has refused to cooperate with an audit of two nonprofit trusts established to improve relations between management and labor at the city-owned utility. City officials began trying to account for more than $40 million in ratepayer money poured into the nonprofits' accounts over the last decade after The Times reported in September that the DWP had only scant information on how the money has been spent.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Former KPMG auditing partner Scott London should spend three years in prison on his insider-trading conviction for selling secret information about the accounting firm's clients to a stock-trading friend, the federal probation office in Los Angeles recommended. The tips to Encino jeweler Bryan Shaw resulted in nearly $1.3 million in profitable trades, prosecutors alleged. The probation office, in a confidential report, recommended the prison term, and the information was disclosed in court papers filed recently by London's attorney, Harland Braun.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Former KPMG partner Scott London should be sentenced to three years in prison for selling secret information about the accounting firm's clients to a stock-trading friend, who used the tips to make more than $1.2 million in profitable trades, the federal probation office has recommended. London, who supervised a team of auditors at KPMG's Los Angeles office, was charged with insider trading in April after FBI agents secretly photographed him accepting cash from his friend, Encino jeweler Bryan Shaw, as payment for past tips about the accounting firm's clients.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Nearly a decade after California voters approved a multibillion-dollar tax increase to improve mental health services, the state has failed to provide proper oversight of county programs funded by the measure, a state audit concluded Thursday. State Auditor Elaine Howle looked at the last six years, during which almost $7.4 billion from the Mental Health Services Act was directed to counties for mental health programs. The state Department of Mental Health and a state accountability commission "have provided little oversight of counties' implementation of MHSA programs," particularly regarding their effectiveness, Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2010 | By Howard Blume
The Los Angeles school district paid $200 million more in salaries than it budgeted last year even as it laid off 2,000 teachers and hundreds of other employees, according to an internal audit. Auditors so far have unearthed no wrongdoing, but officials are puzzled, concerned and perhaps even a little embarrassed. "We've been in the process of cleaning it up," said L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, who said his staff is verifying the size of the discrepancy and will, over time, determine how much relates to incomplete accounting and how much to something more serious.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Auditors reviewing a $1.75-million car leasing contract given to a company with a politically connected lobbying firm found that Los Angeles County officials had failed to create a "truly competitive" process, but that there was no evidence of improper influence. Investigators with the county auditor-controller's office reviewed the Enterprise Rent-a-Car contract at the request of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. A report by KCET-TV had raised questions about the way the business was awarded.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The California secretary of state's office and counties have wasted millions of dollars in federal funds on failed or ineffective voting systems, the state auditor found in a report released Thursday. Auditor Elaine Howle said counties have spent $22 million in federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds “replacing voting systems with new systems that counties and voters cannot fully use.” The auditor noted that $4.4 million was spent on a new statewide computerized voter registration database, known as VoteCal.
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