Nigerians get the rap for bilking Mayor Curry. Silly story with international intrigue and sloppy accounting.

Please check out this article and prepare to get a good laugh.  This is such a ridiculous scam that you almost feel sorry for the Nigerians.  Like the Russians, they get blamed for everything that goes wrong!  When will those who actually made the mistakes take responsibility instead of blaming other obscure people?

Read the article here:  International scam bilks Mayor Lenny Curry’s committee for $120,000

Here are a few of our thoughts on this “bilking” by the Nigerians.  The story goes like this:

“Eric Robinson, accountant for Lenny Curry’s main political committee, Build Something that Lasts, wired more than $119,000 to four different addresses in Wyoming, Ohio and Missouri. Robinson wired the money because of an over the phone request by a fundraiser who works for Curry.  The payments were for catering and consulting services.” 

EYE THOUGHT:   Is this a normal procedure to send money at the request of a fundraiser — over the phone? 

EYE ANSWER:  No, fundraisers do not normally have disbursement authority. 

EYE THOUGHT:  Shouldn’t all monies be paid via invoices that are checked off by some sort of process?

EYE ANSWER:  Internal processes are a normal part of a well run business.  In this case, it appears the owner of the CPA firm may have done an override as, according to the reports, this was all him and not any of his staff involved.  Our advice:  Mayor Curry better take a look at this and make sure better processes are in place to protect those valuable Donor dollars.  The Nigerians are pretty Stinking smart if you ask us!  

NOTE:  Eye looked into the reports and they still show these monies as five different payments for catering and consulting.  Why would that be allowed to stay that way?

EYE ANSWER:  Guess what – It is not supposed to stay that way but no one really enforces anything.  Until now, the Division of Elections would not have even known the disclosure was not correct. Or Supervisor of Election, wherever the committee files.  Catch that my friends – NO ONE REALLY ENFORCES ANYTHING regarding monies given to candidates!  Yikes that could really become a problem if oversight is not a part of the process.  Do you agree?

“Robinson said the police recovered some of the stolen money (how?) and his firm reimbursed Build Something that Lasts about $90,000 — by donating to other political committees he controls and transferring the money into Curry’s committee.”

EYE THOUGHT:  According to news reports and according to filings with the Division of Elections, the CPA firm made contributions to one committee for the purpose of the committee in turn making contributions to the Mayor’s committee to pay back the funds.  Did you get that?  One committee to another committee to reimburse the monies stolen?  Why didn’t the CPA firm just reimburse the committee outright?  Why did they put money into one committee and then transfer it to Build Something that Lasts?  Can you follow the money here?  Always follow the money.

EYE ANSWER:  It’s very odd. Also, this means the original transaction is in conflict with campaign finance law.  No Florida political committee may act as a conduit.  Since he is the treasurer for both committees, he certainly knew one committee was accepting a contribution in order to pass through to another committee.  The transactions even happened on the same days.

 “Tim Baker, Lenny Curry’s political consultant, said in a written statement that no donor money was lost.”

EYE THOUGHT:  Well then whose money was affected?  Head scratching on this one.  If it wasn’t donor money, then where did the money come from.  EYE thought donor money was all that went into a Political Committee.   Can you follow this logic yet?

After our little investigation on the actual “bilking” episode, EYE then decided to check out who was giving money to Mayor Curry’s committee.  You can check this out for yourself at: Florida Department of State Elections Office   

No big surprises here:

  • Peter Rummell and Michael Munz gave approximately $97,000 to Build Something that Lasts (you’ll remember these are the two partners who recently received nearly $90 Million in tax incentives for The District Development)
  • Shad Khan and the Jaguars gave nearly $210,000 to Build Something that Lasts.  Shad Khan will be spending a lot of time in Jacksonville this year as he petitions the Mayor and the City Council for millions of dollars for his planned Entertainment District at the Jaguar Stadium AND the take down of the Hart Bridge overpass.

It’s always fun to look into the funding of candidates.  It helps to make sense of the political power plays and the reasoning behind the decision making to spend your tax dollars.  It’s called “Pay to Play.”

We’ll keep you posted as the Mayor has decided to start a new clean Political Committee for fundraising named “Jacksonville on the Rise.”  You can follow the donations monthly and expenditures too.  Let’s hope the Nigerians — or even the Russians – don’t get their hands on that hard earned money of the donors.  They are sneaky like that!

And let’s hope the donors don’t pull strings so they can get your hard earned tax dollars to fund their enterprises too!  They appear to have a ton of money so why do they need YOURS?

For more information about our Mayor’s Political Committee(s), check out this article from November 2017.  It’s filled with information and has a STINK EYE feel to it.  Political committee spending keeps many details of Mayor Curry’s trips in dark


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Billie Tucker has worked in the CEO world for more than 30 years and was the Chief Operating Officer of Vistage Florida, a think tank for CEOs. She started her own consulting practice, CEO Service Bureau, in 2001 and earned a reputation for her keen understanding of the motivations, challenges and goals of people and became a life-long student and teacher of leadership principles. She craved anything leadership related and enjoyed being around the world of entrepreneurial CEOs. She watched as they made decisions; pondered how they would make payroll when cash flow was tight; and appreciated how they created career opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people. Because of her experiences, she has emerged as a key resource for the media and others who want to understand important insights about executives, management teams and board dynamics. In 2008, Billie became discouraged as she watched some of her clients struggle with the political economic impacts on their businesses. The same CEOs who mortgaged their home and charged up their credit cards to make ends meet to build a business and keep others working, now watched as their government bailed out the big banks who had mismanaged their resources. She cringed as most of her clients laid off employees for the first time and she vowed she would help them… somehow…someway. That somehow…someway showed up in the Tea Party Movement in America. She formed one of the largest tea party group’s in America (more than 9,000 members strong) and helped bring attention to America’s debt problem, out of control spending, over taxation and regulation strangulation on companies. With her background in working with leaders and her influence in the political and leadership world, Billie has continued her dream to help CEOs navigate these troubling waters that permeate the world of capitalism in America. She has been an active participant in the media as a guest on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, Bott Family Network Radio and co-hosts a political/financial radio show in the Northeast Florida market entitled, Smart Money. She was the first speaker at the House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus inaugural event and was invited by Heritage Foundation to speak at their prestigious annual Heritage Resource Bank, and on their National Security Panel live broadcasts. She spoke at the Congressional Republican House Retreat in Pennsylvania in 2012. She was also the co-host and co-producer of the CNN Tea Party Express Debate in the 2012 Presidential Election. She is a firm believer that America needs more entrepreneurs and more opportunities for people to use their God-given talents and passions to better themselves, their communities and America. Her favorite quote has become her mission to help CEOs succeed: “Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison[/author_info] [/author]



Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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