Culver City Observer -

IRS Blocks Refund Frauds – Join the Beverly Hills Gravy Train



February 6, 2014

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. recently brought charges against 72 police officers, eight firemen and five corrections officers among others who filed disability claims as a direct result of 9/11, for allegedly claiming mental health disorders. The investigation is ongoing and many others could be prosecuted.

Perhaps you recall a recent article where the IRS sent hundreds of phony tax refunds to one address in Europe and one in China. Not to be fooled again, they launched 1,500 criminal investigations in 2012 and since 2011 flagged 14.6 million suspicious tax returns, blocking more than $50 billion in possible fraudulent refunds.

Talking about suspicious, the taxpayers of Orange County in 2013 paid $4.4 million to the family of Manuel Loggins Jr. who was shot and killed by Sheriff's Deputy Sandberg as Loggins sat in an SUV with his two daughters, aged 9 and 14, at about 4:45 a.m. in a school parking lot. No, I don't know why Sandberg didn't shoot out the tires and call for backup. One stupid move and so many are victims: the daughters, the family, the deputy, the taxpayers and the Marines where Loggins was a sergeant stationed at Camp Pendleton.

We were all shocked when details and video were released on the Kelly Thomas death in Fullerton allegedly caused by the police beating. Dec. 31, 2013 saw the 4th District Court of Appeals uphold the trial judge's ruling to allow the prosecutors to see the personnel files of two former officers charged. The doors of secrecy are slowly opening.

From where I sit, Deputy Los Angeles Fire Chief Roxanne Bercik's retirement after 29 years of championing the hiring and promoting of women, while noble, was disappointing. The last class to graduate from the academy consisted of 69 men and just one lady. You just gotta know I put in a public document request to see how many females are or have recently been firefighters in Culver City.

An IRS exemption that allows clergy to shield a portion of their income through a housing allowance has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. The exemption is worth about $700 million annually. The loss of the Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act exemption that was passed by Congress in 1954 could lower clergy take home pay by as much as 10%.

According to a new study by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, high doses of Vitamin E may counteract mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer's disease.

From the "impossible to believe" file, by age 23, 49% of black men, 44% of the Hispanic males and 38% of the white males in the United States have been arrested. As we all know, arrest records can hurt one's ability to find work or go to school.

In 2013, 334 people were murdered in New York City, only 29 of them by strangers.

Looking over the four announced candidates for Los Angeles County Sheriff, I see one ran the jail system. The gall of some to ask the people for our vote.

I didn't realize it, but in Beverly Hills the average compensation for their city's 1,080 employees in 213 job titles is $175,000 per year with up to 13 weeks paid time off. Also, their workers receive nearly 75% more than employees performing comparable work in the private sector. Beverly Hills has a shortfall of over $120 million for pension and healthcare liabilities. Mayor Mirisch said, "We do everything compared to other cities. It's like a Ponzi scheme, city to city. We lose connection with what's happening in the private sector."

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website's search box.


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