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MUSD Clerk of the Board Lani Cupchoy’s Mother and Friend John Garza Charged Thousands on District Credit Cards

MUSD Clerk of the Board Lani Cupchoy.

BY BRIAN HEWS

Hews Media Group has obtained documents via a public records request from the Montebello Unified School District that chronicle a months-long credit card binge by current MUSD Clerk of the Board Lani Cupchoy’s mother Eva Cupchoy and her friend John Garza using taxpayer-funded District credit cards.

In addition, charge receipts were included in the request showing that Cupchoy and Garza, who retired years ago, held themselves out to be employees of the MUSD Maintenance Department.

 

Receipt showing John Garza representing the MUSD Maintenance department.

 

All the approvals for the charges were signed by Deputy Superintendent Arthur Revueltas.

The charges occurred in 2015-2016, with Garza or Cupchoy frequent visitors, sometimes five times per day, to the Home Depot in Pico Rivera.

The two would purchase supplies for all elementary and intermediate schools in MUSD that ranged from shovels to several pallets of mulch.

Control was severely lacking with the two simply writing the name of the school, or initials of the school on top of the invoices, and submitting them for payment.

The District would then submit the check to the Home Depot credit card company.

Lack of fiscal control was one of the major factors causing the state to call for an audit of MUSD by the Fiscal Crisis Management Team (FCMAT).

The audit was recently completed by the oft-criticized FCMAT, who’s auditors missed the charging binge by two retired employees holding themselves out as maintenance workers.

Two alarming charges that were missed, charges that might catch the attention of the District Attorney’s Fraud Division, were dated New Year’s Day 2016.

The receipt showed that Cupchoy and Garza purchased two Visa gift cards valued at $100 and $50 including a $10.90 activation fee.

 

Receipt showing the Visa gift card purchase by Cupchoy and Garza.

 

It is unknown if there are more charge receipts, and possible fraudulent charges, as HMG-LCCN only asked for four months of charges.

All receipts contained an entry that read “Pro-Extra Spend,” a loyalty club account that showed total charges for the year.

By the end of 2015, over $91,000 was purchased using the credit card.

 

Receipt showing Pro Extra Spend account at  $90,335 in charges. 

 

[email protected]

@cerritosnews

 

 

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