anon555 
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Re: “The Early Bird: LeValley home from prison 'sabbatical'

I believe federal prosecutors took over Ron LeValley's case because the embezzled money was federal money given to the Yurok Tribe, a federally recognized tribe.

You can read an affidavit of the officier who collected much of the original evidence here:

http://extras.times-standard.com/multimedia/pdfs/YurokSWsandRameysPC.pdf

This is a fairly long and detailed document and well worth reading for anyone interested in this situation.

The information collected through search warrants was used to issue arrest warrants for Ron LeValley, Sean McAllister, and Roland Raymond.

The document linked above goes into detail on the invoices and how the fake ones were identified and some of the information, the checks, and the irregularities at the bank regarding deposits of the checks and very large cash withdrawals.

Here's the federal arraignment document against Ron LeValley:

http://noyonews.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/U.S._v._Ron_LeValley_As_Filed.pdf

Interesting reading.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by anon555 on 04/16/2015 at 7:13 AM

Re: “The Early Bird: LeValley home from prison 'sabbatical'

Take a look at the 2010 tax return For the
THE DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION
The link:
http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Details.aspx?agency_id=1&license_id=1014982&

Scroll to bottom and you'll see the pdf. In this tax document, you'll see $50,000 grant given to THE PACIFIC SEABIRD GROUP

Compare this to the tax returns of the
THE PACIFIC SEABIRD GROUP
http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Details.aspx?agency_id=1&license_id=1066001&

I don't see the $50,000 grant listed anywhere on their returns. Where is it? I've looked at the years around 2010 too. That amount is not listed either.

The minutes of THE PACIFIC SEABIRD GROUP are interesting:

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/index.php?f=exco_minutes&t=Executive%20Council%20Meetings&s=1
(to see links to them all)

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2010_LongBeach_EXCO_Minutes.pdf
"PSG is taking care of all the administrative overhead for the WSC. And in return for that contribution, PSG is getting 10% of the registration proceeds in return for this contribution. Payment to Ron LeValley for his services will come from that 10%."

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2011_March_EXCO_Minutes.pdf
"Report from Treasurer (Ron LeValley)
Our taxes were not filed for two years due to a bookkeeper error."
"We are holding and managing around $30,000 for the World Seabird Union as a favour. This will increase to $50,000 soon as money from Environment Canada and a GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund come through. At this point, it is easy to manage this money but we will likely want to get something in writing about our understanding with them. It is important that we remain transparent about what this money is for and where it comes from. If PSG is uncomfortable with this arrangement the money can be moved into a different account."

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2012_February_EXCO_Minutes.pdf
"Do we have money from the $280,000 for specific purposes left? All grant agreements that had requirements have been fulfilled. In terms of the main grants PSG had to respond to the USFWS, Packard Foundation, and an anonymous foundation. We have fulfilled all specific needs from all grants. There is money left over, what is the best way to spend that money?
David Irons: Could we restate our factual observation that we received $280,000 and all grant obligations have been met. The facts we agree upon are that we got the money and have responded to all those that required feedback.
There are two contradictory statements: grant obligations have been fulfilled, but two of them have had little money spent. Does that negate the previous statements that all grant obligations were met?
The USFWS grant is to put on a conference, etc., what that statement (see attachment) says is that we did spend some money on databases, but the grant was exhausted. It looks like there is about $60,000 that came in with no strings attached. This is part of the $280,000. Some grants were very specific about how the money should be spent, others were not. To clarify, PSG received ~$280,000 in grants, ~$220,000 of that were for specific purposes and we have gotten back to the granting agencies. The other $60,000 did not have strings attached.
What about the colony compilation grant from Denmark, was this done? Ron LeValley: I don’t know.
Where did the unallocated $60,000 go?"

For anyone interested I could suggest reading the entire 2012 Feb minutes.

For discussion on an "audit" can be found here: http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2012_Summer_EXCO_Minutes.pdf

Ultimately, it looks it was for one year only and not a detailed audit.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by anon555 on 04/15/2015 at 10:24 PM

Re: “The Early Bird: LeValley home from prison 'sabbatical'

Take a look at the 2010 tax return For the
THE DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION
The link:
http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Details.aspx?agency_id=1&license_id=1014982&

Scroll to bottom and you'll see the pdf. In this tax document, you'll see $50,000 grant given to THE PACIFIC SEABIRD GROUP

Compare this to the tax returns of the
THE PACIFIC SEABIRD GROUP
http://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Details.aspx?agency_id=1&license_id=1066001&

I don't see the $50,000 grant listed anywhere on their returns. Where is it? I've looked at the years around 2010 too. That amount is not listed either.

The minutes of THE PACIFIC SEABIRD GROUP are interesting:

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/index.php?f=exco_minutes&t=Executive%20Council%20Meetings&s=1
(to see links to them all)

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2010_LongBeach_EXCO_Minutes.pdf
"PSG is taking care of all the administrative overhead for the WSC. And in return for that contribution, PSG is getting 10% of the registration proceeds in return for this contribution. Payment to Ron LeValley for his services will come from that 10%."

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2011_March_EXCO_Minutes.pdf
"Report from Treasurer (Ron LeValley)
Our taxes were not filed for two years due to a bookkeeper error."
"We are holding and managing around $30,000 for the World Seabird Union as a favour. This will increase to $50,000 soon as money from Environment Canada and a GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund come through. At this point, it is easy to manage this money but we will likely want to get something in writing about our understanding with them. It is important that we remain transparent about what this money is for and where it comes from. If PSG is uncomfortable with this arrangement the money can be moved into a different account."

http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2012_February_EXCO_Minutes.pdf
"Do we have money from the $280,000 for specific purposes left? All grant agreements that had requirements have been fulfilled. In terms of the main grants PSG had to respond to the USFWS, Packard Foundation, and an anonymous foundation. We have fulfilled all specific needs from all grants. There is money left over, what is the best way to spend that money?
David Irons: Could we restate our factual observation that we received $280,000 and all grant obligations have been met. The facts we agree upon are that we got the money and have responded to all those that required feedback.
There are two contradictory statements: grant obligations have been fulfilled, but two of them have had little money spent. Does that negate the previous statements that all grant obligations were met?
The USFWS grant is to put on a conference, etc., what that statement (see attachment) says is that we did spend some money on databases, but the grant was exhausted. It looks like there is about $60,000 that came in with no strings attached. This is part of the $280,000. Some grants were very specific about how the money should be spent, others were not. To clarify, PSG received ~$280,000 in grants, ~$220,000 of that were for specific purposes and we have gotten back to the granting agencies. The other $60,000 did not have strings attached.
What about the colony compilation grant from Denmark, was this done? Ron LeValley: I don’t know.
Where did the unallocated $60,000 go?"

For anyone interested I could suggest reading the entire 2012 Feb minutes.

For discussion on an "audit" can be found here: http://www.pacificseabirdgroup.org/exco_minutes/2012_Summer_EXCO_Minutes.pdf

Ultimately, it looks it was for one year only and not a detailed audit.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by anon555 on 04/15/2015 at 10:24 PM

Re: “The Early Bird: LeValley home from prison 'sabbatical'

Nicholas, you need to read the court papers, including those filed in Del Norte.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by anon555 on 04/15/2015 at 8:46 PM

Re: “The Early Bird: LeValley home from prison 'sabbatical'

Federal prosecutors should prosecute him for violations of the Endangered Species Act. To my understanding, anyone knowingly putting an endangered species in danger acts in violation of this federal law. This is a man who claims to love birds and touts himself as someone who supports conservation, you he put an endangered bird in peril. Does this seem excessively hypocritical to anyone else? This is someone who is supposed to fully understand the ramifications of taking such an action. In my mind, this makes Ron LeValley's actions even worse than if someone else without his specialized knowledge had committed the same crime.

Further, biologists and others who worked with this man should hang their heads in shame, not "support" him. To do "support" him makes one complicit in a sense. The environmental/conservation community, in particular, should be outraged, not "supportive." I don't think I can respect anyone in this community if they now "support" him, especially since he has shown no real expression of remorse for his actions. Financially supporting him in any form just seems completely wrong to me on multiple levels. I for one will be boycotting his prints, not buying them! Who would want a nature photo hanging in their home or business from a man who embezzled money from the Yurok Tribe and put an endangered species in peril?

Having followed the information that has been publicly available, it has become apparent to me that Ron LeValley lied to his family, friends, employees (although some of them evidently knew Mad River Biologists was being paid for spotted owl survey work that had not been done), and the community at large to garner financial support for his legal expenses while adamantly denying publicly any wrongdoing. In fact, he seemed to put all the blame on someone else. It seems to me that he only finally admitted guilt when it became abundantly clear that prosecutors had enough evidence to easily win their case against him, probably on multiple counts of embezzlement and/or related crimes, not just one charge of embezzlement.

Mr. LeValley seems to inclined to put blame on others, insinuating that he was somehow hoodwinked into participating in the elaborate embezzlement scheme. Really, Mr. LeValley? If you ever want to re-gain even a modicum of respect, you should own up fully to what you did. From an ethical standpoint, it wasn't just wrong, it was profoundly wrong. Many have been negatively affected by your actions and you owe them a sincere deep felt apology, not a plea to support you financially. Your actions were also a federal felony. Quit trying to make light of it! There is no way to convince me that a man of your experience and knowledge didn't know full well exactly what you were doing. I would also bet this wasn't your first time to play loosey goosey with the accounting. Inflation of invoices, even to ridiculous amounts, as well as flat out falsifying invoices (as well as other related schemes) is all too easy these days when true oversight of public money is all too lax or even non-existent.

If anything good were to come of this tragedy, perhaps it could be an education to the public on how all this works and just how easy it is to embezzle and misuse public money with environmental and conservation projects. This public money should not be handed over so easily to the likes of Mr. LeValley without there being an effective method in place to monitor exactly how that money is being spent. There should be safeguards in place to ensure the money isn't being embezzled, misused, misappropriated, or otherwise mishandled in any way. After all, this is public money, not private money, that is being handed over to businesses like Mad River Biologists, vendors, and various non-profit organizations, or funneled to them in various schemes. As such, here should be a very careful accounting of that public money and there should be random full audits. Please understand that I do realize that there is good environmental and conservation work being done. However, I also believe there is a lot of money in this area that is being misused and squandered. I also believe a great deal more work in this area could be accomplished if this were not true.

Over the years, Ron LeValley has held prominent positions on boards and advisory committees. This includes not only his role in Mad River Biologists but also his role as the co-chair of the “Science Advisory Team” (SAT) for the North Coast Marine Life Protection Act Initiative and a trustee and treasurer of the Pacific Seabird Group, for which the public address was listed at his private home. In these positions, he directly and greatly influenced important public policy decisions and how public money would be spent. All of the decisions, directives, and policy changes that were influenced by Mr. Ron LeValley should now be very carefully scrutinized. Nothing that this man has ever done professionally should be fully trusted at this point. It would be foolish not to do so. Further, all of the work that Mad River Biologists has consulted on over the years should be very carefully scrutinized. No data or reports (written and verbal) generated by them should be taken at face value.

At the age of 60+, are we to believe that this was the first time Mr. LeValley ventured into "creative" accounting or was this simply the first time he was caught?

I have many other questions but I'll end with these. Did the Packard Foundation award a $50,000 grant to the Pacific Seabird Group? Did that $50,000 go first to Mr. LeValley's P.O. Box? Was this grant money ever given to Pacific Seabird Group? If so, was there a significant delay in doing so and exactly why did that happen? If not, where is the money now? Perhaps everything was handled above board with this $50,000 grant but I do believe it is worth looking into, as well as other accounting by the Pacific Seabird Group, especially any public money that went to this group.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by anon555 on 04/15/2015 at 9:20 AM

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