It took Accounting Professor Leslie A Robinson, from Tuck School of business to find over $7 billion dollars the iconic multinational corporation Caterpillar had hidden from the IRS and FBI for decades, as the New York Times revealed.
Over worked and underfunded state and federal agencies have been turning to academics, reporters and private citizens to do their work and conduct investigations.
Similar investigations are underway in Silicon Valley, this time zeroing in and focusing on divorce and custody cases, where Silicon Valley tech and social media companies are facing new levels of heightened security. As unscrupulous tech movers and shakers like David Cheriton try to conceal funds in Silicon Valley tech and social media firms, vigilant watchdogs are using insiders and the courts to track billions in tax fraud, and business practices, designed to keep tech stock prices high, and steal billions in private and public funds, which is now getting the attention of the SEC.
At the forefront of the investigations in Silicon Valley are academic from UC Berkley, Santa Clara University and Stanford , all who note the finances don't add up and reviewing family law cases connected to divorce, probate and custody issues are key.
Courts that can't pay their clerks or keep their doors open in Silicon Valley appear to be assisting Silicon Valley corporations dupe tax payers for billions. In court rooms across the valley, banking and credit institutions including Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America and American Express appear to be lining up in predatory litigation to collect from people and businesses caught in Silicon Valley's messiest family court and criminal cases.
A close look at the financial disclosures, payroll affidavits and public records in Santa Clara County alone indicates judges , lawyers and court appointed experts are making billons of dollars in cash, fraudulent loans and inflated business expenses that are nothing short of criminal.
In cases before judges James Towery, Mary Ann Grilli, Mark Pierce, Derek Woodhouse, Ericka Yew, Mary Arand, and Patricia Lucas, court files show connections to large social media , banking and government agencies that indicate judges are awarding judgements making Special Master Appointments and giving witnesses immunity, as a form of kickback. Private loans made in the names of spouses by judges like James Towery show that judges in one of the wealthiest areas of the world, are bring paid far more than their $180,000 annual salary and public disclosures indicate.
A deep investigation shows that when Judges retire from the bench, they are often awarded private judging contracts that can bring in millions a year out of the pubic eye. In addition to private judging, retired judges appear to be cashing in on private undisclosed loans, real estate liens, private speaking engagements and interest in tech and social media companies , collected long after retirement when public disclosure laws do not apply.
Judge Mary Ann Grilli , who presided over divorce and probate cases in Santa Clara County, and who was appointed to numerous committees and panels to "fix " court corruption and image issues, is now receiving money far beyond her pension.
Grilli reportedly spent over 20 years on the bench where lawyers like Brad Baugh, Valerie Houghton, Dennis Luca, John Conway, Travis Krepalka , Robert Menache, Hector Moreno, Marilyn Moreno, Dennis Luca, Heather Allan. James Cox , Nat Hales and Richard Roggia who were routinely appointed as minors counsel, referees and Special Masters in divorce and custody cases, to the tune of billions in payments of private and public funds.
Grilli, who would not have had judicial immunity from ADA claims made against the county was widely known to routinely violate state and federal guideline child support requirements and ADA laws , which brought Santa Clara County millions of dollars in legal claims, including private settlements made to large firms and litigants. One of the most notable was when Grilli, in her usual court demeanor , told a deaf woman she could hear "well enough " to get through a custody matter without the benefit of legal representation. Grilli also repeatedly violated the law and California Rules of Court by appointing lawyers , custody experts, Trustees, recievers and CPAs with whom she had a personal and professional fondness for, in probate, custody and divorce cases, paid with public funds.
Santa Clara County is reportedly investigating Jude Grilli's former appointments as many not only appear to embroil the county in legal liability, it may cost the county billons in lawsuit settlements and lost funding from the state and federal government.
Additionally , Judge Grilli appeared to routinely appoint court experts James Butera, Sally White, and Michael Thompson to report on the accounting issues at hand in divorce and custody cases. Butera has been reported to be using information he gathers from divorce cases to gain additional business for his firm, and personal benefit, as the California Board of Accountancy refuses to require Butera to make disclosures or comply with a fiduciary duty during his court assignments. Years of kickbacks to Judge Grilli and attorney Brad Baugh are now surfacing , embroiling the county's court files in a deep investigation by Silicon Valley academics and reporters who have been outraged at the professional conduct of their peers.
More disturbing is the connection of Valerie Houghton , a lawyer and custody expert , who appears to be directly connected to accountants . lawyers and judges where the state and county appear to have been overcharged by Ms. Houghton , where billings are not reasonably reviewed by courts.
Houghton initially began her career enjoying court appointments by Judges who included James Stuart and Mary Ann Grilli, by the late 1990s it was discovered Grilli had been unlawfully appointing Houghton and all orders to appoint her were void. Tax return drafts Houghton placed in the trash were picked up by angry parents, who reported Houghton was earning over $200,000 a year, after bogus tax deductions.
When Houghton was no longer able to get court appointments , she moved on to working with lawyers like Walter Hammon and Brad Baugh, coaching parents in custody cases how to win custody and destroy the lives of the other parent in a divorce or custody case.
Similar issues are bubbling over in Santa Clara County divorces today , where James Butera, and Nat Hales , James Cox , Richard Roggia and Bradford Baugh are routinely appointed by judges to act as Special Masters, Referees and court appointed lawyers where they harm families, engage in fraud and make millions of dollars of Silicon Valley businesses and community estates.
James Towery, whose wife worked in the Santa Clara County DA's office for over 20 years, as Judge Grilli was making these appointments, is reported to be protecting Grilli, Houghton and Baugh from outright criminal conduct , using the courts and his connections at the DA's office and the State Bar to do so .
Insiders report that Towery has received millions in real restate and private loans that are kept off radar from public disclosure obligations, as Towery routinely titles his financial interests in the names of others, to avoid taxes and public scrutiny. Towery's stronghold at the State Bar, James Fox , was recently removed , due to pressure from the State Auditor's office.
Two scathing audits showed the State Bar to be fiscally mismanaging private and public funds, as the Bar continues to prosecute the state's most corrupt lawyers.
If you have information on Silicon Valley lawyers, judges , accountants or custody experts you wish to have investigated or exposed, email us !
Links to support this post:
State Bar Audits
Independent Investigation of State Bar
Santa Clara County Indictment Valerie Houghton