A couple of weeks ago, MAOS sent the Florida Auditor General an email/fax/FedEx asking for assistance with regards to:
Engaged in an organized scheme to defraud the public by intentionally withholding the city’s actual cash balance in order to further their mutual vested financial interest.
Hearing some rumblings that we’ve caught their attention, here’s a followup letter.
And it’s a doozy.[cleeng_content id=”539975020″ description=”Why stop now? It\’s just getting interesting! Monthly subscriptions as low as .99!” price=”1.24″ t=”article” referral=”0.1″]Tuesday, August 28, 2012
David W. Martin, CPA
State of Florida Auditor General
Claude Pepper Building
111 West Madison Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1450
MAOS / The Broward Post
1600 S. Dixie Highway #300
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Sent via: email and fax.
RE: Financial Statements of the City of Lauderdale Lakes and the Audit by the Firm Harvey, Covington & Thomas (HCT), LLC for FY 2011
Good day to you. Hope these words find you well.
Recently I forwarded your office information related to the actual cash balances as identified in the audited financial statements for the City of Lauderdale Lakes as of the end of Fiscal Year, September 30, 2011.
Included were several pages from the audited financial statements showing reported cash balances of $1.7 million in the Proprietary Funds with the use of $2.9 million in “due to’s-due from’s” in the Governmental Funds from restricted cash and other pages showing the total lack of disclosure of actual cash balances in required footnotes. Also included was a report obtained through an official public records request showing the actual total pooled cash balance as only $1.4 million.
MAOS has filed a complaint with the DBPR concerning the auditing firm, Harvey Covington and Thomas, and its involvement with reporting on this issue as was the first advice provided by your office. What are more alarming are the other responses from your office. The person responsible for local government financial audits first had to be reminded that the Auditor General is responsible for these audits as relating to compliance with GASB and GAAP reporting requirements as well as auditing requirements. And when reminded, the reply was that the disclosure requirements were met and everything was fine.
Recently the City has applied for refinancing action for long term debt and has several more refinancing actions in the published long range plan. MAOS’s contention is that the lender will see $4.6 million in cash versus the real $1.4 million balance. How is that not misleading to investors, affected residents, and others doing business with the City?
I will remind you again of the close relationship between HCT and the city’s executive team.
As the person in charge of the agency ensuring the compliance with auditing standards and local government financial reports and requirements, again I am requesting your help in getting this resolved. No more of the run around from people that do not want to get involved. If you guys need help, I’ll borrow Lauderdale Lakes Finance Director Marie Elianor‘s solar powered Hello Kitty calculator — as judging by her work product, she’s not using such.
I stand ready to assist.[/cleeng_content]