Federal investigators are looking into nearly $1 million in payments made in cash by officials of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. According to reports, Coliseum officials made several cash payments to union officials to pay for the work of stage hands at events that included several raves, a Cinco De Mayo performance, a mixed martial arts production and a party after the Los Angeles Lakers won their championship title. Payments were made to the same official for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees from March of 2006 through February of 2011.
These payments were sometimes delivered to the union representative in suitcases filled with $100 bills. According to documents, stagehands were hired for events at the Coliseum whose contracts mandated that part of their pay include contributions to retirement funds. Since the stagehands were paid in cash, it is unclear whether or not contributions to the retirement fund were ever actually made. The Coliseum could still owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid payroll taxes.
Financial irregularities first came to light after a series of news articles appeared in the Los Angeles Times. The resulting scandal has resulted in the departure of former Coliseum General Manager Patrick Lynch and former Finance Director Ronald Lederkramer. An internal audits commission has filed a lawsuit against Lynch and former events director Todd DeStefano. No word has been given as to whether or not criminal charges will be pursued.
Categorised in: Federal Crimes