Last December we posted about a character named Ajit Mithaiwala who had built a heavily subsidized low income housing fustercluck project in Fullerton in the 1990s that epitomized the futility and incompetence of Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.
Remember? His name popped up on a host committee list for a fund raiser thrown by high speed rail impresario and con man Curt Pringle, in honor of his boy, Hide and Seek Harry Sidhu. Since the name appeared to be mispelled we had fun with the notion that it might be somebody else.
In the post we wondered aloud what had become of Mithaiwala, and what he had been up to the past ten years.
It turns out we weren’t alone. Federal government auditors, prosecutors, and the FBI have been wondering too, according to an L.A. Times article forwarded to us by an alert Friend.
All sorts of misbehavin’ have been attributed to this guy and his development company that found a niche building subsidized, low-income housing projects, including fraud, failure to report income, and building shoddy, unsafe buildings. His politcal contributions have been scrutinized, too.
Here are a few choice morsels in the article from the Federal investigator:
“virtually no financial records,” no general ledger, no balance sheet and no bank reconciliations. Working with forensic accountants, he said he had discovered “potential fraud and criminal activity.”
On Tuesday, he told the court he was still trying to gain control of company assets and had identified 400 bank accounts, as well as $600,000 in gold bullion and three cars, including a Bentley.
It transpires that besides Fullerton, Mithaiwala has left a trail of tears behind him in cities across Southern California, including our neighbor to the south, Anaheim, where the Mayor Pro Tem is none other than Hide and Seek Harry Sidhu.
Yikes. You don’t mess with the Treasury Department, boys. Even Al Capone could tell you that.