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 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.