For years, opponents of SanTana Mayor Don Papi Pulido have openly wondered how an invisible politician can make so much cash that he can afford an estate in the city's ritzy Floral Park neighborhood. His Form 700s have always included a grab bag of new investments, projects, and other cash inflows that the Don Papi has pursued--real-estate deals, car-related efforts, and a longstanding stint as a director of the Fullerton Community Bank. But one Don Papi moneymaker has long perplexed me: his involvement in something called the La Farga Group.
He's run the company since 2004, and the latest Form 700 (the public paperwork politicians and candidates must file under California electoral law that disclose their finances) shows Don Papi paid himself between $10,000 and $100,000 in salary last year. But what the La Farga group does is a mystery. Don Papi claims it's a consulting firm of which he is president, but the inexact science of Google pops up nada. Zilcho. Nothing. Even stranger, however, is La Farga's supposed location. The Form 700 lists it as being 900 E. Katella, #B in Orange, but the business there is a tax preparation service partially run by Jim Pleman, who filed the articles of incorporation for La Farga (submitted as Lafarga). Nowhere in the office or complex to which it belongs is there any indication a La Farga Group is based in there.
It's telling that Don Papi Pulido lists his business as a tax preparer, as he and the IRS go together like SanTana and Orange County Register readers. Public records show that Pulido's business is currently suspended in California due to failing to pay $1,114 in taxes since March of last year. And this wasn't the first time the La Farga Group's articles of incorporation were suspended for a failure to pay taxes; the Franchise Tax Board did the same in November of 2005, ultimately reinstating Don Papi's biz in 2006. So, the question remains: why can't Don Papi Pulido pay his taxes on time? What does the Lafargara/La Farga group do? And shouldn't Pulido associate himself with better tax preparers?
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