Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Feb. 26
Big Money Landed in UCAN Misspelled Accounts
Watchdog Utility Consumers' Action Network says it will initiate a court-supervised dissolution. This announcement followed immediately on the organization's receipt of a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's office, demanding financial records dating back to 2004.
One of the key questions in this investigation will almost certainly be about funds that landed in accounts in which the organization's name was misspelled: Utility Comsumers' Action Network..."m" instead of "n" in the second name.
On June 8 of last year, attorney Paul Dostart filed a report about various questionable activities at UCAN. He mentioned the "Comsumer" accounts, but could only find relatively small sums in them. But attorney Michael Aguirre has come up with a transaction notification indicating that Utility Comsumers' Action Network was transferring the hefty sum of $262,761.24 out of the brokerage house Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
That's a lot of money for the UCAN organization, that had gross income of around $2 million a year. Aguirre found six accounts under the misspelled name -- with Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs, and with Red Rock Capital, a hedge fund that UCAN was supposed to have lost money investing in, and other financial institutions.
One typo can be forgiven. But six? I could not reach Dostart or Kendall Squires, who heads the UCAN board.
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- UCAN: More damning emails surface — Nov. 2, 2012
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- Shames's Divorce, Computer Seizing Further Roil UCAN — Oct. 1, 2012
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- Were UCAN Books Audited? Cooked? — March 3, 2012