What a Great Photo, Huh? Captain Jason Huskey, a local business owner and a deserving deputy getting a $1,000 retail value prize.
I mean who wouldn’t be all for something like this? If you’re law enforcement you need to do due diligence on everything, and we mean everything.
We’ve lit up Sheriff Sniff over several questionable donors for having things like Coke possession, DUI, Prostitution, etc.
So where was Jason Huskey doing some BASIC due diligence on this wonderful local business?
Here is a link to a RipOff report complaint about El Paseo Jewelers. It looks really bad, but since it is an internet site for people to go and complain to, there is some error rate to it. The allegtion is that the Jewelry store owner did a bait and switch on the customer to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
So, I kept digging and here is a story that is on the Press-Enterprise (they must not have known they were “friends of stan”)
A corporate officer of a high-end jewelry retail store operating in Palm Desert, El Paseo Jewelry Exchange Inc., has been ordered to pay $184,044 in restitution to the state and spend 120 days in Riverside County jail after pleading guilty to felony charges relating to sales tax evasion.
Atulkumar Bhogilal Mehta, sentenced July 10, was also put on probation for three years, the California Board of Equalization said.
The case was prosecuted by Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. A BOE probe, launched in 2009, revealed that false records were prepared and submitted to the state and the company failed to pay $184,044 in sales taxes it had collected from its customers.
When the store was contacted to comment, an employee said the store manager was busy and would call back at a later time.
Whoops, a felony conviction? And Huskey and crew are accepting gifts from that business?
But wait, there’s more. They got sued by a competitor for damages. The allegations in the suit which were almost all upheld in the final judgement were that they were playing games with the price of gold in order to undercut the market.
FINAL JUDGMENT by Judge Virginia A. Phillips: (see document image for further details). 5. Judgment is hereby entered, in favor of Defendants onOut of the Boxs claim for violation of California Business & Professions Code § 17500, et seq.; 6. Ou t of the Box shall be entitled to recover from Defendants the amount of $1,500,000 for Out of the Boxs lost profits as a result of Defendants’ false advertising. Enhancement of this award is denied.7. Out of the Box shall be entitled to rec over from Defendants the amount of $880,355 in disgorgement of El Paseos profits earned as a result of the Defendants’ false advertising. 8. Defendants El Paseo Jewelry Exchange Inc, El Paseo Jewelry Inc, Raju Mehta, and Ivan Kalensky are jointly and severally liable for the entire judgment. (MD JS-6, Case Terminated). (ad)
In addition to a brother going to prison for felony tax evasion, the other business partners were held personally civilly liable for false advertising (aka lying on a mass scale) related to the operations of their business.
When I was alerted to this issue by another confidential source who is known to me, it was not difficult for this blogger from Northern California who is not a Private Investigator or ex-Law Enforcement to find this information. You’d think that those in law enforcement would do some basic due diligence on all potential community partners.
Then, there is this. It is reputed that this Jewelry Store gets broken in to frequently. You could certainly understand why the store owner would want to by cozy with the local law enforcement. When you add in the verifiable, terrible history, it makes sense why a few in public feel good gifts are also in order.
I’m just not so sure uniformed officers at a Christmas Party hosted by a business with this kind of baggage is a wise move, much less taking gifts from them.
Where’s the Sheriff in all of this? While it is not illegal for Captain Huskey to also be an Attorney at the same time as being a police captain, you kind of wonder if Huskey is not doing his homework or if his best efforts are focused on his legal work. Someone is asleep at the switch.