A report has gone into the IRS alleging that the Riverside County Public Guardian has committed tax fraud, in concert with the Riverside CPA firm of Christenson and DeGood. And it now appears that the IRS is covering for the Public Guardian.
The report alleging tax fraud was submitted nearly two months ago and refers to attempts by the PG to shift the liability of the tax burden for income to a Trust onto a beneficiary. The IRS Code is clear on who pays the taxes on trust income. IRS Code 641 (b) states that
“(b) Computation and payment
The taxable income of an estate or trust shall be computed in the
same manner as in the case of an individual, except as otherwise
provided in this part. The tax shall be computed on such taxable
income and shall be paid by the fiduciary.”
The fraud being finagled by the Public Guardian in this matter is fairly minor in the face of the considerable looting already reported by this Public Guardian’s office. However, the government’s response to the report of this crime smacks of a cover up and deserves its own chapter in “Alice in Wonderland Meets Mother Government.”
As it was advised to report this crime by the Public Guardian to a state agency in addition to the IRS, calls were made to the Riverside County Department of Mental Health to ascertain which entity was entrusted with oversight over the PG (The Public Guardian is housed within the Department of Mental Health). Given the response by DMH, one might have thought the request was for keys to Michelle Obama’s jewelry box.
The researcher requesting this information was led on a wild goose chase. She was first advised to call the Association for Public Administrators, Guardians and Conservators. That organization, however, merely provides training for guardians and has no oversight capability, as the researcher was duly informed. Back on the phone to the Executive Office of DMH, the researcher was informed that she was deliberately lied to because “We don’t know who you are!”
I seem to recall in high school civics classes being taught that we live in a democracy and the people who work for government are public servants, not “woo-woo” top secret masked men whose identities are only for the initiates….but the researcher must have decided to play along and she then provided Val at DMH with her phone number. Val then refused to turn over the information until the researcher gave her full name, which was duly provided. Val promised to have an attorney call the researcher with this very special and privileged information.
According to the researcher, the call never came in.
Val has refused to provide her own last name.
And then the IRS started playing “hide the report.” After no reply or confirmation of receipt was received, the IRS was contacted and informed the caller that “We will give you no phone number for the fraud unit, no fax number and yes, there is no way you can confirm the report of public entity fraud was received or processed.” Bewildered by this level of “top secret” shenanigans, the caller then asked if a supervisor could return the call. Assurances were given that the call would be returned within forty eight hours.
When no call back was received, a second and then a third request for a supervisor call back was made. But no one returned the call.
On August 11, 2011, I called the IRS media line. IRS Press officer Dean Patterson asked me to put my concerns into an email. He responded within a couple of hours by email, stating that “Federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing or disclosing taxpayer information. What you are asking about is covered under that law.”
Mr. Patterson was tendered one more question….which taxpayer were they protecting here? The victim or the perpetrator? At the time of going to press Mr. Patterson had not replied.
Christenson and DeGood did not fare much better on the response meter. Asked which law he was adhering to when his firm prepared the problematic return, Mr. DeGood blustered that he prepares returns “all the time” and he knew what he was doing. When it was suggested he could expedite matters by just stating the code number, Mr. DeGood hung up the phone.
Through the recent series of articles exploring the Public Guardian’s office, certain truths emerge. There is a failure of accountability at all levels, ensuring that this office, which is in place to protect the most vulnerable of all citizens—the disabled and incapacitated who lack the family support to oversee their wellbeing—may rape, pillage and plunder their wards without concern that anyone, anywhere will stop them. Requests for financial records are being refused to beneficiaries as the PG has boldly pooled all the monies they manage into one giant account and is therefore citing the “privacy” concerns of others as a reason to withhold documentation from any heir. The logical next course of inquiry would be as to the medical management of the wards. Are these people getting appropriate care or are they being drained of assets and medically murdered, as we have seen is so often the case in the business practices of private conservators like Melodie Scott?
The Riverside Superior Court has recently reconfigured its search engines, so that one may no longer search for free by the name of the guardian, at least without identifying oneself and supplying a name and credit card number. A recent request for the court records of at least one conservatee, Frank Bellue, was categorically refused by the court, citing “privacy” concerns. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain who is in the care and protection of the Public Guardian. Or if they are indeed being “cared” for or are being robbed and tossed onto the bone heap.
And I still haven’t been able to ascertain who oversees the Public Guardian. I am beginning to suspect that the answer is: No One.