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Archive for January 24th, 2013

Without a Prayer For Relief: Investigative Reporter Betsy Combier (ParentAdvocates.org) connects the Dots at Madison Avenue Presby

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This gripping narrative of events in New York which began ca. 1998 is a little more complex to read than Marv Bryer’s 1997 interview “Exposing and Prosecuting Judicial Corruption through Common Law Discovery” of events occurring in Southern California which I just posted, “sticky” status (=stays near the top of the blog’s home page.). Bryer’s critical description (1997 interview) of his investigation involved getting copies of bank records (fronts and back of checks) and looking up corporate records.

However both of them entail collusion of judges and lawyers, potential money laundering (including how it’s done — through nonprofits that sound like, but are not, government agencies in his case, and through cooperation of a major NY landmark church with a major NY and DC realty investment corporation — plus of course judges and attorneys — in hers). Both of them seem to be aiming for others property, whether real estate, or simply money, and pulling a fast one on the public in general.

This author did similar things. Both did it for apparently similar reasons — after some very disturbing damages and utterly strange, abusive, behavior by institutions we typically should expect to be more honest — they didn’t just complain, or tell their story — they examined the evidence — and then told their story, with the evidence. In this case, the writer had to also overcome a retroactive, lack of jurisdiction, not a party Injunction to not tell her story in 2005.

Short background on who’s telling the tale: As I cannot personally verify this much information, here’s the author’s bio-blurb on “OpEdNews”

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http://www.opednews.com/author/author13587.html. The “E-Accountability Foundation, INC. (mentioned up top) shows a NYC address, date of incorporation 2012? EIN# 16-1642397. I am finding pieces of the various lawsuits on-line, as you also could. Here’s a 1996 letter of her under EcoMedia International, Inc., sticking up for a particular (fired) janitor and testifying to verbal harassment and intimidation by a maintenance supervisor at the church who (unlike the janitors) were not union members. EcoMedia International, Ltd. was dissolved in 1990 (per NYState). E-Accountability.com, Inc. was formed 2002, dissolved 2005 (while she was going through these trials, apparently)….

A NYT 1984 Wedding Announcement shows the family background/influence: Her father P. Hodges Combier was Assistant Attorney general of NYS, her grandfather, Samuel Strauss, bought, consolidated, and sold Des Moines newspapers, and from 1910-1916 was Treasure of the New York Times, which should give a general idea.

She also shows on the (Advisory) Board of a National Judicial Conduct and Disability Project, Inc. (Indiana/Incorp. in 2005). This addresses the problem with prosecuting federal judges under a Title 28 law that allows one to, namely, judicial collusion! (hover cursor or click through). I.e., basically judges have immunity from prosecution for what they do ON the bench (the Luzerne County Kids for Cash judges got convicted, I believe, for what they did OFF it, in re: RICO (or whatever it was). I remember learning with dismay at the time about this immunity from prosecution. However, apparently a section of Federal Law was passed to help in certain cases. But the question still comes up — who would convict? Are judges generally going to want to expose their colleagues — and maybe later, possibly themselves — to accountability for abuse of power by the judiciary? (!!!). They write about the control via threatening or disbarring attorneys and judges willing to actually address judicial corruption, under “Coups D’Etat.” … and on a 2009 Supreme Court Decision, “The Official End of Judicial Accountability….Ashcroft v. Iqbal” The founder (or, a founder) of this nonprofit NJCDP, was disbarred in Indiana, it says, for making “false allegations” against a judge, and in federal district? for failing to pay a $6,000 costs of disciplinary hearing. Interesting, though not strictly on-topic…..

So, this narrative involves not only a major NYC landmark Church, but members of the NYS Unified Court System, including its current chief (Jonathan Lippman), its former Chief (Judith Kaye) and many issues. The events here started ca. 1998…

 

MADISON AVENUE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NYS Unified Court System…

Betsy Combier and her family were long-time members of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (“MAPC”): 921 Madison Avenue, NYC. She has a twin sister, and a mother who volunteered (had her office) full-time for this church. In the course of attempting to get her own inheritance, she discovered:

~ Probably embezzlement on its maintenance — i.e. invoice for plumbing repair $90K; Church paid $169k, so where is the missing about $80K? How often does this happen?
~ In looking up that, that New York actually owns the church; it is government property?
~ That MAPC (the church) doesn’t have a separate EIN# for the IRS, but uses the one of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
~ That somehow MAPC Connections to a REIT, and commercial real estate owner “Vornado Realty Trust” (This 2009 article on the aggressive REIT (“the Vornado Tornado,” Steve Roth says it all. Namely they buy up distressed assets, almost — among largest landlords in NYC and D.C., ruthless, etc.)? to finance a co-op based on church property? Browse articles for a scope of influence (i.e., buying up Kennedy real estate, acquiring a West-Side YMCA, etc.). Selling a West Village loft @ 4 times purchase price(which was ca. $1 million)2010; Battle of the Skyscrapers: planning a skyscraper to challenge the Empire State Building (15 Penn Plaza), etc.

~ A determination by those associated with the church to get Ms. Combier’s property, incl.? an Upper East Side Manhattan Apartment — apparently a RICO situation (also hover cursor there):

All in all it raises and addresses so many issues, I felt it relevant to put on this blog.


EXCERPT from PARENTADVOCATES.ORG and related pages on this matter:

The City of New York seems to be the “owner” of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Most of the congregation of “MAPC” does not know what is going on.

District Attorney Robert Morganthau, a friend of my dad, so far has expressed no interest in this RICO claim. I called Mr. Daniel Castleman, (212-335-9817) Chief of the Investigation Division, in October, and he set up a meeting with his “best” investigator, Ms. Judy Weinstock, soon after. In January, 2006, Ms. Weinstock sent me back every one of my documents, saying, “We are not looking into this because you did not give us a receipt for the two toilets’ that were repaired in May, 2004 for $169,224.”

[[Material on who is the Presbytery of New York, originally published on this post, removed; it’s background info I like to know FYI (and for future reference), not the actual narrative. That’s also one reason my posts get so long, and illegible!]]

I sent Mr. Castleman a letter in January, and he never responded. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s Charities Bureau told me they never investigate churches, because churches are not charities. Spitzer’s criminal division’s Mr. Bill Jorgenson told me in November, 2006, that the information I had showed “a clear-cut case of embezzlement”, but only someone at the legislature level could submit it to the Attorney General for consideration, “sorry”. He advised me not to call the Attorney General’s office about this matter ever again.

CHURCHES ARE NOT CHARITIES: It’s True, and It’s Significant! See NYState Charities Search which says this twice:

Charities Bureau Registry Search (for New York State)

{{search for “Presbyterian Senior Services” {{found, registered with the state as a CORP in 1962, but as a CHARITY (dual-purpose) in 1986) and “Presbytery of New York City” (NOT found) here…. Yet the by-laws of the Presbytery of New York City clearly state that the latter is a “corporation” and we can see that it was “incorporated” in 1899…)


Welcome to the Charities Bureau Registry Search. To search for specific charitable organizations, use the search fields below. Please note, in order to use the Registry Search, one of the following search terms must be entered – Name, Charities Bureau ID #, or federal employer identification number (EIN). Some organizations, like religious organizations, are exempt from registering with the Charities Bureau and may not appear in the Registry.

POSTING HERE DOES NOT MEAN THE ORGANIZATION IS AN APPROVED TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATION UNDER THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE. THE IRS DETERMINES TAX-EXEMPT STATUS.

CONTRIBUTIONS ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE UNLESS THE IRS DETERMINES THE ORGANIZATION IS TAX-EXEMPT. TO VIEW A LIST OF TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS, VISIT http://www.irs.gov/app/pub-78/ . SOME ORGANIZATIONS, LIKE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, MAY NOT APPEAR ON THE IRS LIST BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED TO FILE WITH IRS IN ORDER TO BE TAX-EXEMPT.


Essentially, these business entities (it takes money to be a church — real estate, wages, housing, collections, financial staff, secretarial staff sometimes; settlements for lawsuits against sexual abuse (or embezzlement) by leadership….they also charge rent for nonreligious use of their facilities; a lot of assets and income changes hands in the operations, MOREOVER, federal and other level public monies (grants, contracts) goes to many religious groups, directly! (see HHS) — millions, that is…. So where does anyone keep a list of who they are, and where they are run from? ???

Ms. Combier, Cont’d.:

I tried to find out. I called the accountant who did the budget,** Sandy Davies of O’Connor Davies, and was told that Mr. Davies never saw any receipts for any job. Then I called the Presbytery of New York City, and spoke with the financial officer, Simon Lai, who is supposed to look at money donated to and spent by presbyterian churches in New York City. He told me that he has never seen any financial information from MAPC in the 7 years he has worked at the Presbytery. As MAPC uses the tax exempt IRS number for the Presbyterian Church, USA General Assembly, I called over there to find out if any records of MAPC were available. There are none. Thus, MAPC is an entity doing business in New York City without any oversight by anyone.

 

A very large budget — see church site, and there’s a link to the 2003-2004 one in the story.
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Exposing and Prosecuting Judicial Corruption through Common Law Discovery (1997 Interview)

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