Saturday, March 5, 2011

Are the EVG Bandits Still Active?

As far as I can tell there has never been a resolution in the EVG fraud case. No reports or summations have ever been delivered. Nobody has been arrested, nor have there been any further updates on the investigation lately, either. The story has gone dark, the perpetrators and their loot have vanished, and those whose job it is to solve this case no longer care to share their thoughts on the matter.

Not that they ever really did. To do so, we were told often, might have jeopardized whatever it is they were doing. Which, judging by the results, was never all that much.

But some of those who were stung in the EVG Scandal are still suffering from the effects. As an example, on Thursday of this week I received the following e-mail from a Sierra Madre resident.

John, have you heard of other Sierra Madreans getting re-charged on the EVG Gas Station problem? I filed a claim through my bank, received a provisional credit back, but now the money has been removed for a second time this week. The answer I received from my bank was:

Dear XXXXX XXXXXXXX,

Thank you for taking the time to email U.S. Bank.

Our records show a dispute was placed on 12.31.10 for a check card transaction in the amount of $175.93. The merchant provided documentation of the amount and that you received benefits from the transaction. Therefore the dispute was denied and the provisional credit we provided to you was reversed on 02.16.11. If you would like to have the dispute reopened, you do need to call our Dispute Department directly at 1-866-540-9904. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (et cetera) ...

I received the 'proof' from US Bank that someone had submitted on behalf of EVG (I have no idea how this all works mechanically) showing the computerized charge slip dated 12/26/2010 for $175.93. I spoke to US Bank who said they would re-submit the VISA claim on my behalf.

Probably there is little incentive for US Bank to work on my behalf. They probably come out better if I accept the charge.

The question this raises for me is who exactly at EVG is sending proof to US Bank that this victim had "received benefits from the transaction" and that they should be paid? And at this point what exactly is EVG? Is the SMPD or their friends in the Secret Service aware that something like this is going on?

If the perpetrators of this fraud are actually capable of following up with banks to make sure that they get their money, then they're certainly being very thorough with their paperwork. That months after this investigation began we can see that people are still having problems from a now supposedly non-existent EVG is absurd.

Perhaps we can get some kind of update from the City on where things stand today? I'd hate to think that law enforcement's solution to this problem is to hope that 500 or so fraud victims will grow tired of waiting for something to happen and just go away. Especially when for some the EVG Scandal has still not come to an end.

Rearranging The Redevelopment Deck Chairs All Over Again

As can be seen on the City Council Agenda for next week, the rush to "encumber" redevelopment funds by the City of Sierra Madre will move forward on Tuesday evening. The list of projects that some members of the City Council and Staff hope will be funded with at risk CRA money could be finalized then.

But is there an actual point to this exercise? Not only has Governor Brown put forward a bill that will soon invalidate such "encumbrances," but even the entire concept of a CRA might be coming to a swift end as well. This from today's San Jose Mercury News:

Local governments seem to be losing battle to keep redevelopment agencies - After months of lobbying against Gov. Jerry Brown's controversial move to eliminate redevelopment agencies throughout California, it now seems clear leaders in San Jose and other South Bay cities have lost their fight in Sacramento.

A key state legislative committee is backing the end of redevelopment, and even a group of Bay Area business leaders told the governor in San Francisco on Friday they were supporting his plan. Facing a $26.6 billion budget shortfall, South Bay lawmakers say there is little choice but to divert those redevelopment dollars to schools and local services, as the governor has proposed.

"I think this is going to happen as a matter of necessity," state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, told the Mercury News of Friday.

Added state Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose: "When I have had to cut billions of dollars from safety-net programs for the elderly and the sick, redirecting redevelopment agency funding is among the least of the worst choices I have had to face."

Perhaps the time has now come for Sierra Madre's City Council to get off Jerry Brown's back and let him do what he needs to do to help California's aged and sick, along with the kids attending our financially destitute public schools and universities.

It is appearing more and more like the City Council's efforts are futile anyway, so why not be gracious about it and just let go?

Ghost Tattlers

I am not sure if you are aware, but articles from The Tattler show up all over the internet. I never have any idea where these things are or who put them there, and nobody actually tells me they're going to use my stuff. It just kind of happens.

And on a site I stumbled across yesterday, The Los Angeles Examiner (click here), I have practically written the whole thing.

Apparently I am what is called an "Examiner." Which is described on that site thusly:

Examiners come from all walks of life and contribute original content to entertain, inform, and inspire their readers. They are credible, passionate and influential because of their knowledge of a particular topic.

Now before anyone says that I am being ripped off and need to do something about it, I have to let you in on something. I use a free blogging service that is run by Google. And part of the deal is that I get to have a fine looking site like this one at no cost whatsoever. But in exchange for this unique service my gracious hosts get to "place" my material where they see fit. Which means that I am now writing for a lot of places, and all over the planet.

If you have never seen Sir Eric translated into Punjabi, then you are really missing out on something special.

Look at it this way. I don't publish The Tattler for money. I do it to get a series of messages out. Messages that I hope speak on the behalf of a considerable portion of this community, and would not otherwise see the light of day. If Google wishes to help me in that cause and get the word out, inadvertently or not, I certainly have little problem with it.

And in a way it is kind of flattering. "The Moderator," who is the credited author for much of what gets printed on this site, is actually becoming kind of famous. As is Sierra Madre and some of its more notorious leading figures.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

53 comments:

  1. And trillions of dollars were scammed from the working class in the past ten years and NO ONE has gone to jail or even been charged with anything, good luck on the EVG debacle, sorry folks, lick your wounds, move on, don't buy gas there any more and pay cash when you can.

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  2. In this town problems become secrets pretty quickly.

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  3. Okay, Tattlers, ATTEND the City Council meeting Tuesday night to let them know they should NOT be using CRA funds (which some call "License to Steal"), especially for a Farmers' Market, Nancy Walsh's pet project.

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  4. Speaking of secrets. I wonder who owns the old Howie's site? The list of owners would be interesting "dirt" to know.

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  5. Anon 7:05 ...yes it is....
    http://www.city-data.com/los-angeles-county/S/Sierra-Madre-Boulevard-46.html

    14 Sierra Madre Boulevard
    Sierra Madre, CA 91024
    Owner: MONTECITO DEVELOPMENT GROUP LLC
    Total land value: $1,508,909
    Total building value: $225,145
    Total value for property: $1,734,054
    Recording date: 05/16/2005
    Assessment for fiscal year: 2008/2009


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    14 Sierra Madre Boulevard
    Sierra Madre, CA 91024
    Find on map >>
    Owner: MONTECITO DEVELOPMENT GROUP LLC
    Total land value: $1,481,848
    Total building value: $88,758
    Total value for property: $1,570,606
    Recording date: 05/16/2005
    Assessment for fiscal year: 2008/2009


    There are two lots on this parcel

    Neuroblast Films
    More info to follow

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  6. I agree with BM ADOLF at 6:08

    Don't use cards to buy gas, although with the huge price increase per gal, it's sometimes difficult.

    Just plan to buy your gas at ARCO or COSTCO, where the price is lower and pay cash!

    I feel badly for all my Sierra Madre neighbors who were victims of this scam.


    Speak out against using CRA funds. Jerry Brown deserves all our support on this one.
    The CRA is a disgraceful scam and the sooner it's gone, the better!

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  7. Please...there are no surprises coming from City Hall.In addition,when they whine about our "NEEDS"to upgrade our services,be it increased water rates,Bond,and taxes(Remember the UUT Rates)We certainly got a lot for our money out of that!More "Keystones" issuing tickets;another form of Taxation.Remember,don't become a Sucker again.Instead,demand an forensic audit..Where is the money pit!You mean,you really don't care!

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  8. Star-News today featured Sierra Madre Grocery Co. which capitalizes on local foods and small-town food shops that populate the city. Owner Karen Swisher said, "I've lived in this small little oasis for 23 years and I just wanted to give back."

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  9. Last April the Tattler ran a blog..Is Sierra Madre Crime City..I think we need an update..Crime City part 2

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  10. There is a criminal element in Sierra Madre. Unfortunately some of them
    are elected officials.

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  11. 9:47, where is the Sierra Madre grocery Co.?

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  12. I am 100% opposed to the Farmers Market that just makes it harder for local stores.
    Why don't the four people on the council who are pushing for the out of town vendors get it?
    It's the whole shop local thing.

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  13. The Farmers' Market gives the council the opportunity to waste more money.

    They're addicted.

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  14. How can you be charged again on a card that you cancelled?

    What? You didn't cancel your card when you were hornswaggled with the first EVG bogus charge?

    Your credit card information was stollen? Cancel the card. Get another one from the bank who wants to keep your business and if they don;t want your business go elsewhere.

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  15. We don't need CRA welfare for a farmers mkt. The last one went under for a reason. Nobody wanted to shop there.

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  16. I just googled Sierra Madre Grocery Co. and this gal looks like she is very accomplished and having a good time being a successful food scientist. Have not met her, however, over the 23 years she has lived her and I get around a lot. Looks like she has been real busy so good on her!

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  17. People can go to a big farmers market every Saturday morning in the PHS/Victory Park lot. Much better selections and prices than any we were offered by that struggling little mid week market. And Weaver said that the market has to be Weds. or Thurs. She also recommended against having it.
    Even better, walk to Taylor's, and support a real local business.

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  18. Anybody go to the Mayor's walk?

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  19. I agree with the premise of this article today. We really do deserve an accounting on the EVG situation. It shouldn't have just been dropped as if nothing happened.

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  20. I think it's more like a Mayors sashay..

    Noun
    sashay (plural sashays)

    A chassé.
    A sequence of sideways steps in a circle

    Verb
    sashay (third-person singular simple present sashays, present participle sashaying, simple past and past participle sashayed)

    (intransitive) To walk casually or showily; to strut, swagger or flounce.
    (intransitive) To chassé when dancing.
    (intransitive) To move sideways.


    It all seems to apply

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  21. Police have to be tight lipped and careful about what they reveal.
    Crime fighting 101.

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  22. The new operators of that gas station (its not still called EVG is it?) will have had to go through the more rigorous business license practice, yeah? I'm no fan of city hall, but even they wouldn't let new criminals take over.

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  23. The bank that disputed the resident's claim is clearly uninformed and in the wrong. Maybe a referral to the bank about the Feds being involved in the investigation will clear that up.

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  24. I agree with you 10:59. But who told the bank that the transaction was legit? And
    why did they believe it? This is quite a mystery!

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  25. My question about the farmers market is this. Are they really
    farmers? Or are they just people who bought some vegetables
    from a wholesaler so they can sell them here at a high price?

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  26. Justice of the PeaceMarch 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Obviously moderator the adjustment bureau has deemed you be rewritten as an examiner. Hopefully they will give Mosca a Square One Reset (Braindrain).

    Looks like the Examiner owners have gone into compeitition with little patchy. Sierra Madre Neighborhood News sounds better than scatch my ____ patch news. I think it is a good thing.

    Hum, the victim of the EVG crime, we found the visa points origination of EVG and posted it on the Tatter but, US bank is trying not to absorb the loss. You must give them a copy of your police report and/or slash the newspaper coverage of the fraud and/or call and ask for a credit card investigator not a desk credit handler disputer, because your claim is not a dispute it is theft and fraud. Different departments.

    Lots of support for the RDA Legislation, and Sierra Madre is in enough trouble with it's bonds now. Pushing forward Redevelopment projects now knowing they will be examined and rejected in the future is pure stupidity and greed. One might say our city representatives are being downright unpatriotic certainly not civil to defraud the state we live in of monies needed to save it from insolvency. It is kind of justified eminent domain of eminent domain from the eminently domained. Where is all that for the greater good crappe philosophy the cities and redevelopment agencies used on private citizens?

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  27. 10:45, especially the flouncing.

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  28. A person cannot post an anti redevelopment comment in the SGV or PSN without it getting deleted. The Tattler is our only hope.

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  29. For your consideration as the tattler comment of the week, Justice of the Peace on the CRAs:
    "It is kind of justified eminent domain of eminent domain from the eminently domained."

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  30. Crabs, which are bottom feeding scavengers, are said to sidle. Which means go sideways. Joe is someone who usually sidles. Especially on topics like bonds and development.

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  31. In these times, funding CRA projects is downright immoral, when you realize it's on the backs of the poor, the invalid, and the schools.
    At the meeting, these characters on the council must be publicly shamed for this game they are playing.

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  32. Sacramento is chopping teachers and help for the sick and old, and our City Council is hogging up CRA money so they can fund a farmers market and "public art?" Shame on them.

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  33. Monkey see, Patchy doMarch 5, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    The Tattler posts an article about the EVG crime wave, and several hours later Patch does the same. They sure do watch you closely, Crawford.

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  34. Imagine Bell when the breadth and depth of fraud and decite became evident. If Police, Attorney General, and others investigating remained "tight lipped" about their findings, Rat Rizzo would probably still gaining weight.

    The light of day corrects many problems not the least of which is Police incompetency and in some cases complicity.

    Out with it Chief Diaz. We need to know what progress you are making.

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  35. Looks like 1:26 wants to be a police chief.

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  36. On the upcoming council agenda, in closed session, there's a public employee discipline/dismisal/release item.
    Hmmm. Hope it wasn't anyone who has access to records....

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  37. Are y'all reading the agenda for the next meeting? Farmers' Market phooey. How about Heritage Housing Program developing the Highland property and Fountain Square Development West making their play for the old SNF?
    The developers geared up and among us.

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  38. I hope iIt s someone with access to records, 2:00. And they pass them to The Tattler for public viewing.

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  39. You'd think with a police force of 36 Sierra Madre would be able to solve a crime once in a while. There is more silence out the Police Department than there is in Pioneer Cemetary.

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  40. Not a state-wide or country-wide or international crime 2:19.
    The investigators need to keep information away from the criminals to help build the case against the criminals. It'll come out.

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  41. 2:13, you're assuming some bad employee is friends with the Tatt?

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  42. 1:58 Police Chief no. Free Press and inquiring minds, yes. When you came to a fork in the road you took it :)

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  43. Everything at city hall should be put on line. No
    more secrets!

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  44. WOW! For a minute I thought something was wrong in Sierra Madra. I feel safer knowing that Chief Diaz is on the job, and taking no prisoners...

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  45. That is the problem. Unless it is drunk walkers or people sleeping in cars, there are never any prisoners taken.

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  46. You just wait. This investigation headed by Chief Diaz is going to bust international organized crime wide open. What looks like incompetence and inaction, is in reality a precision sting operation that will have Tattlers talking for years. Don't risk the security of the free world by even thinking of any questions.

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  47. Yeah, she going to talk our puff ball City Council into letting her hire another 10 cops.

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  48. Well they may not be up to solving crime but they sure up to snuff when it comes to handing out tickets.A gal was pulled over by two cop cars and another cop car was sitting a half block away.All of this about the time families drive to pick up the kiddies from school.

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  49. Traffic tickets they can do. Home robberies or credit card fraud? Not so much.

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  50. Don't want a ticket, try going the speed limit.

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  51. @ 6:04 PM

    That's laughable! They pull us residents over any chance they can get, not to mention hand-out tickets for anything they can dream-up.

    About the EVG scandal, let's not forget that the SMPD was publically praised for their efforts. PUBLICALLY! Meanwhile, Yevgenko-whatsit is sipping an umbrella drink on some Armenian/Russian beach. I'm just sayin'.

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  52. The picture that starts off this article is just great.
    As anyone knows who's stood in formations like that, what Buchanan, Mosca and Moran are looking at is the back of the chief's hair. Note the varied expressions. Looks like Walsh is actually trying to see the chief's face. Not a photogenic moment.

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