An Orange-based nonprofit that provides job, health, transportation and other supportive services to Vietnamese refugees and other immigrant populations is reportedly doling out more than $1.7 million to settle charges that it falsified records and over-billed local government agencies.
Voice of OC has the scoop on the settlement that was finalized last week, which was also when an Orange Country Transportation Authority (OCTA) investigation of Horizon was released to the public.
The director of Horizon's transportation services and a project manager falsified trip records and billed both the county and city of Garden Grove for bus trips for the elderly that never occurred, according to the OCTA probe. Horizon received about $1.2 million in federal funds through the OCTA since 2009 “without adequate supporting documentation for invoiced amounts,” according to the investigation cited by Voice of OC.
Horizon will reportedly auction off its building in Orange to pay off the settlement. Not that the nonprofit needs the space, having cut its staff in half since losing its contracts with the county, OCTA and the City of Garden Grove as a result of the controversy.
And the hits may keep coming: an ongoing investigation of Horizon by the Orange County District Attorney's Office and Sheriff's Department included the execution of a search warrant on the nonprofit's headquarters in February.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.