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HMG-CN Exposé: Governor Brown I-Bank Appointee Ruben Rojas Defrauded State, Several Other Employers

MUSD CBO Ruben Rojas

MUSD Chief Business Officer  Ruben Rojas.

 

 

And I’m off to Ireland… I’m off for a bit of the crack…. I am awfully shifty, for a man of fifty… Catch Me If You Can, me name is Dan, Sure… I’m your man! –
Irish folk song

 

By Brian Hews

Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime film, based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed several cons worth millions of dollars; his primary crime was fraud.

You can call Ruben Rojas, current Chief Business Officer at Montebello Unified School District (MUSD), and former Deputy Executive Director of California’s Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) – a Governor Brown appointed position  – a newer version of Abagnale.

An ongoing Hews Media Group-Community News investigation has found that Rojas defrauded public entities he has worked for since 2011 weaving a complex web of deceit, using bogus information on his employment applications , even working for two or more entities and collecting multiple paychecks at the same time.

The duplicitous behavior showed that Rojas, who does not posses a Bachelor’s Degree and boasts of a law degree from online-only Abraham Lincoln University, calling it Lincoln University on his applications, jumped from job-to-job between 2011 and 2015.

And the shifty Rojas spread himself between positions smoothly, always keeping one foot in the job he was leaving and one foot in the job he was taking, following the money.

The pattern indicated that Rojas, who was recently given a vote of no confidence by the California Schools Employee Association after a little more than a year at MUSD, was eventually found to be completely incompetent by his superiors after a few months at his position, and would either resign and take another job or be placed on administrative leave, collecting money along the way.

It is Rojas’ aura and muffled confidence that complements his fraudulent scheme.

Rojas was so convincing he even fooled Governor Brown’s Office of Appointment staff when he was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of the I-Bank in July 2013.

But, as with Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can, Rojas finally got caught.

And his scheme could land him in legal hot water and possible prison time for submitting an application to a state agency with fraudulent information.

The applicable Code states, “any person who knowingly and willfully makes or uses any false document knowing the document contain fictitious or fraudulent statement shall be fined and/or imprisoned for not more than five years.”

And the Governor’s Appointment Office officials and I-Bank officials could also liable for any loans that Rojas authorized during his tenure at the I- Bank.

 

Dansure Inc. – Sham Company?

Catch Me If You Can, me name is Dan, Sure… I’m your man….

 

Rojas had two application and resume packages, depending on which public entity he was applying to.

There was the “school district” application package, with Rojas working for, in chronological order, the LAUSD, the LACCD, tiny Elk Hills School District, and the La Canada USD.

He submitted the “school district” package to the MUSD.

Then there was the “polished” application package, with Rojas working for LAUSD, the LACCD; Senior Associate with AECOM that had revenues in excess of $ 6 billion; and finally Dansure, Inc., which billed it self as “a $45 billion company.”

Rojas submitted that package to the Governor’s office for appointment to the I-Bank.

On the surface Rojas’ application package to the I-Bank was extremely impressive. His list of accomplishments were legendary – just ask “his good friend,” current California Governor Jerry Brown.

But a closer examination of the of both application packages revealed major discrepancies.

 

Polished Application Package

One of the top companies Rojas lists, Dansure (the same word in the Irish song) Inc., has a very questionable history; even finding a mail drop is impossible.

Dansure claims “a $45 billion track record of delivering high-performance services in collaboration with its clients.”

But information on Dansure is extremely difficult to find.

$45 billion would indicate at least a robust social media presence and marketing campaign via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

But no such marketing exists.

The last post on Dansure’s Facebook was January 3, 2015, the post prior to that was November 2014. The page has only 59 likes.

See Facebook page click here.

The Twitter account was slightly more active, but the last “tweet” was April of this year, the second to the last tweet was July 2015.

See Twitter feed click here.

Finally a search on the California Secretary of State’s website shows Dabnsure, Inc. was was disolved 4/2/10, one year prior to Rojas’s claimed employment at the company.

 

Impressive Job Title

Rojas was “Executive Vice President of Sustainability” at Dansure starting in 2011.

A review of Dansure’s corporate history as shown on Los Angeles Community College District bond documents indicates the company was established as Ed Aschoff and Associates in May 2008, then renamed Dansure in 2010.

An internet search of Dansure reveals an address of 515 S. Flower St. in Los Angeles with a phone number of 800-757-1247.

Dialing the 800 number directs the caller to Home Theater Kings based out of South Florida.

Searching the internet under the company’s URL Dansure.com reveals an unavailable website.

In 2013, Dansure filed with the state and changed its address to 27422 Portola Parkway, Suite 345, in Foothill Ranch.

An internet search reveals the address belonging to EHS, Inc. and the phone number belonging to a private party.

HMG-CN called the number and the party indicated that, “I just got this number one week ago, around Nov. 1.”

 

Rojas Fraudulent School District Claims-

Rojas claimed on his “school district”  application package submitted to the MUSD that he worked at the I-Bank and several other school districts, “amassing over twelve years of experience at the cabinet level in the public education sector.”

But an examination of his employment history shows once again, as he did with his I-Bank application, Rojas knowingly and willfully made false statements.

First and foremost, Rojas did not include his employment with the $45 billion company called Dansure, adding more questions about the existence of the mysterious company.

Rojas started by claiming he worked at the tiny 200 student Elk Hills School District as the “Director of Finance and Administration Services” from July 2011 to July 2013, earning $10,000 per month.

In truth, Rojas worked for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools as a Division Administrator from July 2011 to April 30, 2012.

 

 

 

rojas-kern-county

Document showing Rojas worked for Kern County USD as Division Administrator in 2012. Click on image to view larger document.

 

 

 

Rojas did work for Elk Hills from May 9, 2012 to January 31, 2013, but he was a Consultant with California School Advisors and his own company, Shared Intellectual Property Group.

He was not the Director of Finance and Administration Services for Elk Hills, as fraudulently claimed on his MUSD application.

Rojas also claimed he made $10,000 per month at Elk Hills when he earned only $5,000 per month.

 

 

rojas-elk-termination

Document showing Rojas worked for Elk Hills as a Consultant, not as Director of Finance as claimed on his MUSD application. He was terminated 1/31/13. Click on image to view larger document.

 

 

 

 

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-12-44-51-pm

$5,000 consulting contract between Elk Hills and California School Advisors, whom Rojas worked for. Later he, and the Superintendent of Elk Hills, Jeff Tensley assigned the contract to Rojas’ own company Shared Intellectual Property Group.

 

 

Document showing Elk Hills employment with Rojas claiming he was

Rojas’ application to MUSD  showing Elk Hills employment. Rojas claimed he was Director of Finance and Administrative Services earning  $10,000. In reality he was a consultant earning $5,000.

 

 

 

Catch Me if You Can-

Through the next few years Rojas became more adept at fooling employers.

Documents show that while a Consultant for Elk Hills, Rojas became simultaneously employed in September 2012 at the Victor Valley Union High School District (VVUHSD) as Assistant Superintendent, Business Services, a full time position.

Rojas did not list VVUHSD on his application with MUSD or with the I-Bank, with good reason.

Rojas was pulling two paychecks from two different public agencies for five months, one from Elk Hills and the other from VVUHSD.

VVUHSD administrators discovered Rojas’ scheme and he was placed on administrative leave on January 11, 2013, only four months after he was hired.

Click here to see story.

 

rojas-vvuhsd-leave

Document showing Rojas being placed on administrative leave Jan. 2013 by the Victor Valley Unified High School District. Click on image to view story.

 

 

Rojas listed his next position as Chief Business Officer with the La Canada Unified School District working from July 2013 – coinciding with his “departure” from Elk Hills – to Oct. 2013, earning a hefty $12,000 per month.

At the same time, July 2013, he accepted the appointment to the I-Bank.

Rojas subsequently resigned from La Canada Nov. 30, 2013.

The next day, Dec. 1, 2013, Rojas received his first paycheck in the amount of $11,033 from the I-Bank.

Once again Rojas was simultaneously pulling two paychecks for one month, one from La Canada and one from the I-Bank.

 

 

Warrant Register showing Rojas' paychecks beginning in Dec. 2013.

I-Bank Warrant Register showing Rojas’ paychecks beginning in Dec. 2013.

 

 

 

 

Back to the Polished Application Package, Rojas Defrauds I-Bank

HMG-CN was finally able to obtain Rojas’ resume – submitted to the I-Bank – via a public records request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Just like he did with MUSD,  Rojas blatantly lied to the Governor’s office on his resume.

Rojas excluded all school districts he worked for – including Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Elk Hills, VVUHSD, and La Canada Unified – from his employment history.

What was included in his application was the suspicious $45 billion company that is Dansure and three other companies. See below. Rojas was appointed to the I-Bank July 2013.

 

rojas-govenor-resume

Rojas’ resume submitted to the Governor’s office. Rojas omitted his entire school district employment history. 

 

 

 

 

Rojas Leaves I-Bank for MUSD

The Deputy Executive Director of the Governor’s I-Bank is a very prestigious position. Appointed by the Governor and paid over $11,000 per month, it is a highly treasured appointment in Sacramento, and a position of overwhelming public trust.

Yet in February 2015, Rojas submitted his fraudulent application, filled with the previously outlined falsified employment history from Kern, Elk Hills, VVUHSD, and La Canada, to the Montebello Unified School District.

Sources inside MUSD told HMG-CN that Rojas said he left the I-Bank because “a family member was ill” and he needed to move back to the area.

With the application, his Statement of Qualifications, several letters of recommendation, and his polished interview skills, the MUSD hired Rojas June 1, 2015.

Once again, Rojas was collecting  paychecks from two public agencies from June 1, 2015 to Sept 11, 2015.

In that time frame, the I-Bank checks totaled approximately $37,000, the MUSD checks totaled approximately $36,000, a hefty $24,333 per month for jobs that were both full time positions.

Rojas’ Statement of Qualification submitted to MUSD contained several misrepresentations of his employment; Rojas also left off his employment of VVUHSD and his employment at Dansure, Inc.

 

 

rojas-statement-of-qualifications

 

MUSD Board Allies

By the time the public officials at the MUSD became suspicious, Rojas had forged an alliance with select MUSD Board Members emboldened by the prospects of accessing Measure GS funds, the $300 million construction and modernization bond passed in June.

Inside sources are telling HMG-CN that Board President Ben Cardenas was instrumental and fought extremely hard for the hiring of Rojas. The sources also said Cardenas was the leader of the alliance.

The alliance has already started the process of accessing bond funds by approving the first $100 million at the Nov. 3 meeting; a meeting marked by the discovery, as exclusively reported by HMG-CN, that Lalo Trujillo, MUSD’s financial advisor who is helping to direct spending of the $300 million bond proceeds, lied to the Board about his employment history.

 

 

Sources have told HMG-CN that MUSD officials suspected Rojas was a fraud but were frustrated by the Board alliance.

But finally, in September 2016, Rojas, similar to two previous jobs, was placed on administrative leave by the MUSD.

Coming next: The alliance strengthens and Rojas get his job back.

 


rojas-employment

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to HMG-CN Exposé: Governor Brown I-Bank Appointee Ruben Rojas Defrauded State, Several Other Employers

  1. Peter Nunez Reply

    December 18, 2016 at 12:54 am

    I’d bet if HMG hasn’t reported it he is still on sombody’s payroll. How about it HMG is he still collecting (not working)?

  2. Jj watt Reply

    December 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Yup he’s still there

  3. Victor Reply

    November 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Why is this man still working and collecting a check?

  4. Juan Robles Reply

    November 23, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Appalling that this liar is trusted with the finances of our children! If we cant trust him to be truthful with a job application, how can we trust him with district funds. What has MUSD school board done, is he still working at the school district?

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