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Audit Reveals Sports Council Half a Million Dollars Embezzlement #540105
01/17/20 05:38 AM
01/17/20 05:38 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The Fleecing Of The Nat'l Sports Council

If you ever wonder why sports programs for kids are so under-funded and under-resourced, or why public sports facilities are in such a dreadful condition - tonight, we have a part of the answer. It's because the National Sports Council has been systematically fleeced, raided like a broken piggy bank.

And the evidence comes from a report of the auditor general who provides a small snapshot into the Council's inner workings. The audit covers one year of operations, April 2015, to March 2016, a single fiscal year, but a multitude of infractions, hustles and lawless behavior. And, all of it went un-reported, swept under the UDP's red rug. That is until now.

The 160 page audit on the National Sports Council uncovers a number of serious infractions, but it also looks at what may be legal infractions - and one involves former UDP minister of state Herman Longsworth, who was responsible for the sports portfolio from 2012 to 2015.

As has been widely reported, Longsworth was the private contractor who built the imposing fence at the Marion Jones Facility. The report found that he was also the moving hand behind a shell company called Go Enterprises - where he was the sole signatory on the company's bank account. The auditor general's team found that in mid 2015 the sports council retained Go Enterprises to do some work at the Marion Jones Stadium - even though the company had been formed that very same year. On 27th October, the company received $75,000 in mobilization fees. Longsworth - who held no office at the time since parliament had been dissolved and he wasn't running again - diverted $35,000 to the UDP/Albert Committee account and $5,000 into his personal account. Both transactions were completed by October 30th, 2015 - 4 days before the general elections.

After the elections, GO Enterprises received two more payments, amounting to $50,000.

The Auditor General's team fully investigated all aspects of the dealings between the Sports Council and Go Enterprises, and spoke to all parties, and concludes, quote, "it can be viewed that Minister Longsworth and the Directors (of the company) may have violated the prevention of public life act…." End quote. The reports notes a person commits an act of corruption if, quote, "he illegally uses official influence in support of any scheme, or in furtherance of any contract…in regard to which he had an interest." End quote. The auditor general also notes that the Minister may have acted contrary to his oath of office. She also concluded that the government did not get value for the funds expended at Marion Jones. We note there has never been an official tally of those figures.

And, that's not all that happened at the Sports Council. The Auditor General found that a former Senior pay clerk Ivan Ayuso had allegedly diverted $416,228 into his personal accounts at three different banks - amounting to a massive and still unrecovered loss to the Sports Council.

And, former Sports Director Patrick Henry was also accused of many infractions and irregularities, particularly with cashing cheques. That included one for $5,000 dollars made out as a contribution to the "back to school program in the Collett division." But the cheque was cashed by an employee who gave the cash to Henry. When the auditors asked Henry what he did with the cash, he said he gave it to the sports minister and area rep Patrick Faber. Faber told the auditors that he did not receive this money even through Henry maintained that he did.

Channel 7

Re: Audit Reveals Sports Council Half a Million Dollars Embezzlement [Re: Marty] #540119
01/18/20 05:15 AM
01/18/20 05:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Faber Says He Never Got 5k Cash From Sports Director

Today, Commissioner Chester Williams said he has the reports and sees quote, "some degree of criminal implication" end quote. Here's what he told us this evening: And these reports fall squarely on the shoulders of Minister of Education and Sports, Patrick Faber. He's held the Sports portfolio since 2012, and Education since 2008. Both audit reports show significant, possibly criminal, and certainly costly, infractions at the National Sports Council and the Julian Cho Technical High.

We asked him about a claim in the report that former Sports Director Patrick Henry gave Faber - who was his minister at the time - a cash donation of five thousand dollars - for a Collet Back to School Program - IN NOVEMBER!

The donation was given on November 3rd, 2015- when everyone was already back in school. November third also happened to be the day before the November fourth, 2015 General elections. It's a highly suspicious transaction and Faber said he had no part in it. Here are his remarks on that and on the audit in generals:

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"In response to the Auditor General's position and this is one of those rare cases when in fact they allowed for us to make a response to the findings. Certainly you saw an instance in there where I was asked or I was told that one of the directors indicated that they had given me five thousand dollars that was for some education program for Collet."

"The Collet School Program"

Hon. Patrick Faber
"Which is a back to school program which is ridiculous because..."

"The check was written in November, sir."

Hon. Patrick Faber
"Well see..."

"Before elections"

Hon. Patrick Faber
"...and that check was cashed and then the cash was given No, I'm not into that kind of thing. Everybody knows that and in fact, if we wanted to do some kind of back to school initiative that would have come."

"But Mr. Henry says he gave you the money."

Hon. Patrick Faber
"But I am telling you, as is in the report, because we were given a chance, in fact the auditors visited with me prior to writing up the report and asked me what is my position and that position is reflected as I said to you yesterday in the report itself. So that is my position as it relates to that one little portion that in fact directly involved me, but at that time I am sure that all know that in fact while I was the substantive minister, a minister of state presided over the affairs of the National Sports Council."

"And that Minister of State has also been implicated in significant wrongdoing, the suggestion is breaking the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act, going against that."

Hon. Patrick Faber
"And you've heard the prime minister's position on that that he will in fact be speaking to the former minister of state and then of course the matter will be properly ventilated in the Public Accounts Committee."

"Sir, would you speak about the timing of the release of these documents, the audit yes there are tabled yes, but they could have been tabled. I heard they were on the PM's desk from late last year, we had 3 house meetings since then. Do you think the timing is calculated to undermine you?"

Hon. Patrick Faber
"Either way you would have a criticism for the PM. If he released it now or he took another couple of months to release it then the criticism would be why is he sitting on this? Why didn't he bring it as soon as he possibly could? And so..."

"Doesn't section 34 of the constitution stipulate that the finding should have been brought before the house within a 7 day period? I understand that this is from October of last year."

Hon. Patrick Faber
"I am not sure about that timeline, you would have to ask the prime minister about that. I am not sure, when he received it; it was Jules who is saying that it has been sitting on his desk. I am not aware of that timeline, so that question is better put to the prime minister."

"Sir, while we can get caught up in the politics of who did this or Mr. Longsworth allegedly did this - what we are seeing in the sports council is a snapchat is a place that is not being run for the betterment of the children and the athletes. We've seen gross mismanagement of funds."

Hon. Patrick Faber
"What you saw and what was reflected and as our response that was generated by the current director of the sports council points out that there were many suggestions made even before the release of that audit to our ministry. We were aware of some of these bad practices and in fact there were many efforts, many accomplishments even from right after that point of my taking over the reins if you will, that we put measures in place to correct those things, so I can assure that what you see in that audit is not the common practice today in that sports council."

For his part, former Sports Director Henry twice insisted to the auditors that he did give Faber the money directly in cash. For balance, the audit found serial irregularities in Henry's conduct and management of funds particularly when it comes to the cashing of cheques.

Channel 7

Re: Audit Reveals Sports Council Half a Million Dollars Embezzlement [Re: Marty] #540234
01/25/20 06:16 AM
01/25/20 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Sedi Says Longsworth Should Not Have Deposited Money into Private Account

As you heard, the former minister says the establishment of the company, Go Enterprises, was undertaken to facilitate the completion of work at the Marion Jones. Longsworth states that work ceased when the National Sports Council could no longer pay. But the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, who was Longsworths boss until this week, agrees that it is not proper for the fired Consul General to deposit monies from the N.S.C. into his private account.

Wilfred Sedi Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The problem seems to have arisen some years ago when Mr. Longsworth was dealing with some construction, I think it may have been the Marion Jones Stadium where he got funds to do certain works and theres some suggestion that the auditor generals people, the people working for the auditor general is making the allegation that in fact they have evidence showing that some of the funds at least were funneled into his personal bank account. I think that is really the crux of the matter that funds that were supposed to have been dedicated to the project were traced into his personal bank account. I have not read the auditor generals report but I have not heard it suggested that the works for which the funds were paid were not done. I had a discussion with Longsworth and he informed me that the works had been done. But for reasons of expediting the activity, the monies were funneled into his account.

Isani Cayetano

But is it not a conflict of interest, perhaps illegal even, that a public official, in this particular case a junior minister with sports as his portfolio, would set up a company that would then provide private works for the construction of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in this case?

Wilfred Sedi Elrington

Certainly, that is not deemed to be proper. Its regarded as self-dealing, you know what I mean, and its not the most ideal way to do business at all, at all, especially when you are dealing with funds that are not your own. Its always better to have an arms length transaction if you are the minister, hire an independent company to get the work done.

Channel 5

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