L.A. County D.A.: CAFR billions non-disclosure “not a crime,” but won’t explain

Regarding the data (video interview explanation here) of Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) that show taxpayer surpluses in the literal trillions while government officials tell the public our “only option” is austerity, Los Angeles County District Attorney Office’s Dave Demerjian (Head Deputy Public Integrity Division) wrote me:

The failure to disclose cash reserves is not a crime unless there is some evidence that official documents have been intentionally altered or destroyed to accomplish the non-disclosure.

He did not respond to my follow-up:

  • Please cite the applicable law(s),
  • please explain how it is not fraud for officials to misrepresent public taxpayer assets by only saying the budget has a deficit and never saying cash and investment accounts have in the case of California 35 times that amount?
  • How is it not fraud to label accounts for “pensions” when the data shows the opposite: that only 4% of pensions are paid by a fund of nearly half a trillion surplus taxpayer dollars?

Mr. Demerjian didn’t respond to two further e-mails requesting answers. I admonished:

My professional standards never puts an audience in position to trust anything I say. I document and then provide testimony to understand the evidence; in this case what a law means and what financial fraud means, especially with public officials. I also recommend that whatever you write reflect how you want the public to view you.

I documented how L.A. County has $66 billion in surplus taxpayer assets, CA has $600 billion, all state CAFRs combined $8 trillion. The public deserves how officials misrepresenting their money can do so legally, as you so far allege.

Mr. Demerjian can be reached here: webmail@da.lacounty.gov if you’d like to follow-up.

 

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