Where did all the money go?
“Your guess is as good as mine,” David Montoya, the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, says of $700 million in missing taxpayer money that Louisiana homeowners were given in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to elevate and protect their homes from future storms.
A new report released from the inspector general’s office shows that more than 24,000 homeowners who received grants of up to $30,000 to elevate their homes either misspent or pocketed the money.
“The fact of the matter is that the money they received was for a specific purpose and the specific purpose was to elevate these homes to avoid future catastrophes,” Montoya tells Power Players.
He rates the home elevation program as little more than a complete failure.
“Considering there was just under $1 billion earmarked for this particular program and there’s $700 million that wasn’t used for that, I’d give it a very low D,” he says.
But the lessons learned from the failed home elevation project provides a useful roadmap as Congress moves to offer recovery funds to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“Clearly, to give money out on the front end right after a disaster, when many of these people lost everything, with a promise to do something down the road, I think is counterproductive to what the program was designed to do,” says Montoya.
Montoya says his office will recommend that, for future disaster relief programs, funds are disbursed to individuals only after the project has been completed.
Posts Tagged With: $Millions
Where did all the money go?
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
A long-lost relative of the reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, who could have inherited $19 million of her $300 million fortune, has been found dead under a Union Pacific Railroad overpass in Wyoming.
Children sledding found the body of Timothy Henry Gray, 60, Thursday afternoon in Evanston, a small mining town in southwestern Wyoming near the Utah border. The coroner said it appeared he died of hypothermia. The low temperature that day was 10 degrees, and had hit zero in the previous week. Lt. Bill Jeffers of the Evanston Police Department said there was no evidence of foul play, and Gray was wearing a light jacket. Gray’s siblings said they hadn’t heard from him since their mother’s funeral in 1990, when he disappeared without a word. It wasn’t clear whether Gray was living under the overpass, where transients have been known to camp.
Tim Gray was an adopted great-grandson of former U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark, known as one of the copper kings of Montana, a banker, a builder of railroads and the founder of Las Vegas. The senator’s youngest daughter, Huguette Clark, was a recluse who died in 2011 in New York City at age 104, after living in hospitals for 20 years while her palatial homes sat unused. Gray was her half great-nephew.
In her will, Huguette Clark left no money at all to her family, leaving it instead to her nurse, goddaughter, attorney, accountant, hospital, doctor, favorite museum and various employees, as well as to an art foundation to be set up at her oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara, Calif. None of her relatives had seen Clark in at least 40 years, though some had been in touch with her through holiday cards and occasional phone calls.
Nineteen of Clark’s relatives have stepped forward to challenge her will in a New York court. A public administrator joined the challenge on behalf of Gray. When lawyers tried to find him to let him know about the Clark estate battle, they found his belongings had been abandoned in a storage locker, according to court records, and private investigators were not able to find him.
If the relatives win their court challenge, Gray’s estate would be entitled to about $19 million before taxes, or 6.25 percent of Clark’s copper mining fortune, which has been conservatively estimated at $307 million by the administrator of Huguette Clark’s estate. If Gray, who apparently had no spouse or children, died without a will, his siblings would receive his share in addition to their own.
Gray was not using the money he already had. The coroner said Gray’s wallet contained a cashier’s check, from 2003, for “a significant amount.”
Gray’s older brother, Jerry, said Tim had worked as a cowboy and lived in the Rocky Mountain states. “He was homeless essentially. If we had proper mental health services in this country, we could have been notified and known to do something.”
Huguette Clark attracted the attention of NBC News in 2009 because of her vacant but well-manicured mansions and questions about the management of her money. The battle over her estate could go before a jury in 2013, though settlement talks have begun.
Electric car battery maker A123 Systems files for bankruptcy protection, sells US assets
DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. operations of electric car battery maker A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy protection and its automotive assets are being acquired by Johnson Controls for $125 million.
The announcement Tuesday comes one day after A123 warned in a regulatory filing that it likely would miss some debt payments and could be headed for bankruptcy court.
A123, based in Waltham, Mass., got a $249 million U.S. government grant to help it build a battery factory in Michigan.
The bankruptcy filings do not include A123’s subsidiaries outside of the U.S. But those assets also will be sold.