[Watchdogs] Unclaimed Funds
Linda Kaye Rogers
rogers-pec7 at live.com
Fri Sep 26 11:52:47 CDT 2008
Neither PEC nor Navigant has ever referred to Navigant as an audit. There has been clear communication that they are "investigating". Texland easily escaped sight due to not being on the PEC books. Since the investigation is still underway, there is no way to know wether or not they would have questioned what it was at some point-in-time. Also, remember, they are only looking at records 10 years old. Most everything on Texland is outside that time frame. AND, it might behoove the best interests of the coop to remember WHO did bring this account to our attention; our CFO and GM. Everyone seems so eager to villafy anyone who does not do exactly as youwould have them do. In general, I would encourage everyone to also remember that even though we are being given as much information as possible. we DO NOT have all the details that our coop leaders use to make decisons. We pay them to do that. And before any of you jump on that statement, two things: it is not reasonable to disseminate ALL the details to member/owners. NO business does that. If you want more "accurate" info beyond what is put in the media and on this site, go to the meetings yourself and do some of your own digging. Second, "you can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please ALL the people all the time...... Our coop leaders must consider what is best for the majority of the membership. While that may sometimes ALSO be best for some of them as individuals, it is the best interests of the WHOLE that must dominate the decisions. This is called good business and democracy. Let's be clear: I don't like the settlement. But when looking at the whole picture and the best interest of the membership, the appeal offers more potential harm than good. It's VERY risky and the Board IS NOT licensed to take those kinds of risks. Most of us are up-in-arms because of some risks taken in previous years (that are now costing us).
Be watchful. stay involved. But Emotional criticism without constructive support has no foundation. Opinions are our right, but to state them as fact and lead others to follow based on that is just plain old IRRESPONSIBLE. That's my opinion!!!! Linda Kaye
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 19:32:44 -0500From: sub at smimobile.comTo: viktorin at sbcglobal.net; Watchdogs at pec4u.orgSubject: Re: [Watchdogs] Unclaimed Funds
Mr. Viktorin,You brought up an excellent point that has gotten lost in the shuffle. The terminology, "audit" was quickly dropped because Navigant could not legally do an "audit." And the reason for for hiring a company that couldn't legally perform an audit and had ties to KPMG...??? Kinda makes you wonder.ChristineRichard Viktorin wrote:
In answer to your question, “Why didn’t Navigant find the account?” The simple answer is Navigant is not an auditing firm and Navigant was not hired to do an audit. In my opinion Navigant was hired to give the appearance of an audit. I am still dismayed that PEC went all the way to Chicago to hire a non-CPA firm to do a non-audit, especially when Navigant, which is a publicly held company, is audited by KPMG, the same firm which has been asleep at the wheel all these years at PEC. I guess PEC management feels there are no competent auditors in the state of Texas. The selection of Navigant was odd – peculiar.
One might also ask why KPMG didn’t find the Texland – Cattleman’s account? Or at least comment on the conflicts, lax controls and potential abuses from the account.
These were some of the original issues when the idea of an independent audit was discussed in March-April-May, when for a brief period it was thought that the State Auditor’s Office would conduct the audit.
I am not a PEC member and have been watching this case only because of what is at stake in terms of the public interest and the public trust. These cases are so corrosive to our collective confidence in our public institutions and spill over far beyond PEC membership. If I was a PEC member, I would want to take a look at the Navigant contract, to see if there is any element of independence in their scope of work, or is Navigant just looking where management wants them to look which is likely where they will find nothing.
Audits in the Public Interest
-----Original Message-----From: watchdogs-bounces at pec4u.org [mailto:watchdogs-bounces at pec4u.org] On Behalf Of Christine - subSent: Monday, August 18, 2008 10:53 AMCc: Watchdogs at pec4u.orgSubject: [Watchdogs] Unclaimed Funds
The Texland account will not be on the Unclaimed Funds site because it is not "lost or unclaimed". As long as there is an address to send the statements to, it is a current account just like everyone one else's active account. It is "lost or unclaimed" when the Bank has no address at which to contact the person or company. That is why it is incorrect to call it a forgotten account. Nothing was forgotten about it at the Bank nor by the person accepting the statements and forwarding them. The reported actions indicated some knew all, some knew some and many knew nothing. The question is why was the account treated this way for nearly a quarter of a century? Why didn't Navigant find the account? Why did someone spill the beans? Is this one of the reasons the one sided settlement demanded release from fraud known or unknown? ChristineMaxine Kaplan wrote:
If we knew the name of the account we could look it up on the State of Texas web site a Christine indicates. Does anyone know the name of the account and how it is styled? The State doesn't do a good job of locating the rightful owners, but then again, neither does anyone else. It's just too much work. The best they do is to advertise the accounts in the newspaper...It's also the cheapest. Some businesses don't even do that much...which is, of course, against the law, but who's looking anyway - right? MaxineAt 08:44 PM 8/17/2008, you wrote:
There was nothing "abandoned or unclaimed" about the account. Statement were mailed. It was a "hidden account". Or more accurately, hidden from some and know by others.Christinehttp://www.window.state.tx.us/up/
State law requires the Texas Comptroller's office to hold abandoned and unclaimed property reported by businesses and financial institutions until its owners or their legal heirs claim it. The agency attempts to find the rightful owners of unclaimed properties through annual newspaper advertising, direct mail notices and the agency's Web site.Maxine Kaplan wrote:
That would be true if there hadn't been any activity (deposits/withdrawals/transferred/payments made on someone else's behalf, e tc., but I don't believe we have that information yet. MaxineAt 01:31 PM 8/17/2008, Christine - sub wrote:
"Forgotten" account is a totally incorrect word to associate with this account. There are State of Texas rules for "forgotten" accounts. See: http://www.window.state.tx.us/up/reporting.html If the account was forgotten, the Bank is about 20 years late in reporting it to the State of Texas. Since statements were being mailed out, it was not a forgotten account. It was a "hidden" account. I would like to hear more on exactly how the "hidden" account came to light. I totally agree with the "no interest" part being done to keep it "hidden".ChristineAndra Jacoby wrote:
I believe Mr. Heyer has an excellent point on why the"forgotten" account was put in a non-interest bearing account. "Re: Aug. 8 editorial "Secretive dealings hinder PECreform." I think the editorial about the secret Pedernales bank account misses the point about the account being interest free. An interest-bearing account would require that the accrued interest be reported on federal tax forms, thereby making it impossible to keep the existence of the account secret. This seems to be a more logical explanation than suggesting that the interest-free nature was designed to permit Cattleman's to make a few more dollars on the hundreds of millions in deposits it otherwise held for the co-op. William Heyer wmheyer at gmail.com Austin" _______________________________________________Watchdogs mailing listWatchdogs at pec4u.org http://pec4u.org/mailman/listinfo/watchdogsNEW INSTRUCTIONS: To remove yourself from this list, please send anemailtowatchdogs-request at pec4u.org with UNSUBSCRIBE in the SUBJECT line. Orgo to http://pec4u.org/mailman/listinfo/watchdogsand follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. No virus found in this incoming message.Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com Version: 8.0.138 / Virus Database: 270.6.4/1616 - Release Date:8/16/20085:12 PM
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