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Monday, September 26, 2016

Eastside affordable housing projects tainted by fraud charges

Manitou Vistas I & II, Lincoln Heights. Photo from Google Maps.

Figueroa Place, Echo Park

A quartet of affordable housing developments in Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown and Lincoln Heights built by Advanced Development & Investment are hard to miss, with three stories of low-income apartments stacked on parking garages that loom above the streets.  Now, these four ADI projects will stand out for another reason – examples of a massive fraud the City of Los Angeles claims may have cost it $180 million. The four Eastside properties – The Mediterranean in Historic Filipinotown, Figueroa Place in Echo Park and Manitou Vistas I & II in Lincoln Heights – are among the 15 cited in a lawsuit brought by the city, according to the L.A. Times. A copy of the lawsuit posted by the Times describes some examples of the allegedly inflated prices:

  • At The Mediterranean (now called The Mindanao), a 26-unit building in the 1800 block of Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, the developer charged $43,740 for ironwork that cost less than $2,000.
  • In Lincoln Heights, a subcontractor charged ADI $94,250 for grading at the Manitou Vistas II, one of two projects that include nearly 70 apartments in the 3400 block of Manitou Avenue. The company then turned around and submitted a $427,000 bill for the same work. (No examples were provided from the Echo Park project but the lawsuit alleges that false claims were submitted for all the properties)

The Mediterranean, Historic Filipinotown

The fraud charges have proven an embarrassment for city leaders who accepted contributions from Advance Development and its subcontractors, according to the Times. Councilman Eric Garcetti, who represents Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown, got $500. Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents Lincoln Heights as well as portions of Echo Park, received $18,000.



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7 comments

  1. This makes me sick. Garcetti, Reyes, Villaraigosa received a total of $46,500 from ADI, who then proceeded to rob the taxpayers of up to $180 million. It doesn’t cost a lot in the city of Los Angeles to make a lot–if you know whose palms to grease.

  2. Yup! Corruption abounds in LA!

  3. The developer, ADI is (or perhaps was?), headquartered in the Hermon community of Northeast L.A., on Monterey Road at Ave. 60 — the address included in the lawsuit. For trivia buffs, their offices have been for a number of years in the historic home of a two-time third party U.S. presidential candidate, attorney C.A. Watson. Though he never placed higher than 5th (against FDR in 1944) — he held the distinction of being the first presidential candidate to pilot his own private plane to campaign stops around the country.

  4. P.S. Ever the optimist, however, rumor has it candidate Claude Watson once sent his wife, Maude (yes, that’s right — it was “Claude & Maude”), to D.C. on a tour of FDR’s White House, to measure for new curtains . . . “just in case”. Watson passed away in 1978 after being seen for years scooting around the main streets of Hermon in his senior-citizen golf cart, and his cornerstone house/law office was sold by the family a few years later.

  5. It comes as no suprise ant villarigosa also was censured for taking free trips and tix from adi as well this city is a joke if we cant pur these crooks behind bars for some real time we don’t deserve a real city!

  6. Having lived in multiply cities you will always have dirty government. It’s how the people get involved to say “Hey we don’t like what your doing”. Take back your neighborhoods. Design spaces for people have a comfortable living environment, build business, all these areas are hot spots. Their cute neighborhoods that need some love from people that live there, not developers.

  7. It is truly sad we are stuck with such rotten government in L.A. The areas being spoken about here have some of the most beautiful “spots” scattered around. They also have some of the most beautiful buildings and homes from years gone by. Then you get our lousy officials who see nothing but a way to line their pockets with more money. Me, personally am looking in to getting out of here. It has gotten more ugly in the past few years than before and lapd needs to be ousted period. They are the lowest, especially Northeast all of them need drastic help in mental stability and how to treat folks and talk to them like a human being not talk down to them. L.A. has such beauty and history but most folks like our city officials look at what they have or have been left by family not as something to cherish and maintain for their children but just something useless and to rid themselves for the money. Look around and see the junky buildings , mostly apartment buildings, tossed up and how cheap they look. We need to love our ancestry when things were made to last. But our city officials are so eager to tear down calling it “progress”. Sure you’re right.

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