Sunday, May 10, 2015
Providence Pension Scam..Now for the rest of the Story
We all loved his style and stories with the shocking twist at the end. Paul Harvey was fantastic and loved by nearly all who heard him. I say "nearly all" because on rare occasion he would reveal uncomfortable facts about corruption and criminality that certainly would not have pleased the subject of his story. Most of the Stories involved happy and optimistic stories with success as the outcome and perseverance the lesson. Alas this story has no such happy ending , although the final chapter has not yet been written.
This is the story of Providence Rhode Island , long considered to be the most corrupt City in America.It is the story of a $100 million dollar theft of taxpayer funds and Pension Plan money designated for retirees mostly Police and Firemen. The scam is right out of Enron and Ponzi lore. It is the people involved that is so surprising and has happens so often, Like Watergate its the coverup that shows how corrupt our officials can become. Could they really steal from their own family? Could a ill advised accrual to cover up illicit borrowing from the pension fund evolve into fraud? The answer is a resounding yes. Under what circumstances did Buck consulting get fired and sued yet the actual Actuary Dan Sherman of Buck consultants was immediately appointed the Actuary for the RI Municipal Pension Crisis Commission ? Who is Dan Sherman and when did he decide on the accrual accounting idea? Was he pressured? By who? Did he recommend the same accounting for any of his hundreds of other clients? Why not? Why did every actuary and 2 commissions on "Category 5 " miss what Segal called inflated Assets in the pension fund?
The rest of the Story goes deep and involves several officials in Providence Politics.