Is the AOC is contracting with entities that don’t appear to legally exist?

Posted on September 10, 2013

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One of the things that has shocked us over the years is how the AOC contracts with a multitude of entities that 1) Don’t appear to be legally formed or exist or 2) that they seemingly hire or otherwise engage hundreds of new law firms every year across California. The latter serves to bolster their invincible immunity because there is hardly any law firm across the state that wouldn’t have to conflict out of representing those who might feel slighted by the Judicial Council or the AOC.

Recently, the legislature passed a requirement that the judicial branch report individual contracts in semi-annual reporting periods. The reason the legislature passed this requirement was because the legislature had learned through various whistleblowers that the AOC was contracting with entities that did not appear to legally exist or were legally formed. Two such entities that should rapidly spring to mind is Team Jacobs and Aleut Global Solutions who both lacked contractors licenses.

Luckily, those sharp legal minds on the litigation management committee of the judicial council realized that if they controlled any and all litigation, they would be able to snuff out any and all allegations of impropriety directed at themselves so they set about controlling the litigation to a loss against Jacobs and apparently a confidential settlement with respect to Aleut. We’re guessing it was a confidential settlement because the AOC tells us the matter is confidential.

Over these required reporting periods we sat back and used a little known tool that anyone in the judicial branch has access to and permitted the AOC to hang themselves. Now we’re going to go the extra mile and distribute the list to legislators. This little tool could have done so much to clarify the legally formed status of those that do business with the AOC. Surely, the AOC checks with California Department of Business Oversight, California’s new one-stop shop for everything related to corporate and limited liability\limited partnership status to determine if an entity is legal before doing business with them don’t they? That link is available here http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/

Our review of these records indicate that little to no effort is employed to identify these shell entities that the AOC is paying hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to. Some of these entities even collect sales tax for purchases but don’t appear to have a resellers license either and therefore do not remit sales taxes collected from the AOC back to the State of California.

We conservatively estimate that the sales taxes that are not remitted back to the state for purchases made would probably pay the salaries of all AOC workers each and every year. That amount probably exceeds those who avoid paying corporate, LLC or LLP fees along with corporate income taxes because the AOC contracted with a foreign or non-existent corporation, LLC or LLP.

This mess, which will hopefully be addressed by the legislature, should culminate in a BSA audit to the vendor level to determine how much has been lost to the state of California based on nothing more than contracting negligence. Much like the AOC has a duty to verify that their contractors are licensed, they also have a duty to verify that the business entities that they do business with are authorized to do business within the State of California.

We’re going to pick on just one AOC contracting entity today because we find great irony in this particular selection. You see, this company is the go-to hired gun law firm for the AOC in all employment matters. The AOC has been contracting with them for years, yet there appears to be no record of them with the Secretary of State.

Wiley Price & Radulovich, LLP handles most of the AOC’s high profile employment cases, yet they cannot be found on the Secretary of State’s website. Interestingly, Wiley, Price & Radulovich, LLP also appears to claim to represent a whole lot of other high profile government clients and many individual superior courts.

Disclaimer: This tool allows you to search the Secretary of State’s California Business Search database for abstracts of information for domestic stock, domestic nonprofit and qualified foreign corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships that have filed with this office. This search tool groups corporations separately from limited liability companies and limited partnerships and returns all entities for the search criteria in the respective groups regardless of the current status. Although every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in the database is accurate, the Secretary of State’s office is not responsible for any loss, consequence, or damage resulting directly or indirectly from reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of the information that is provided. All such information is provided “as is.” For information on ordering copies of the official business entity records for a particular entity, please refer to Information Requests.

Okay, we read the disclaimer. It does not explain that we should not rely upon this information. It does say that the Secretary of State is not responsible for relying on the accuracy of what is being provided. We searched for Wiley Price and Radulovich, LLP a hundred ways to Sunday, even breaking down to just individual names. No matter what is done, we could not get this system to return any records on Wiley Price & Radulovich, LLP.

Calling their Alameda offices, the receptionist was unable to provide us with a Secretary of State “entity number” or direct our call to someone who could clarify for us, yet assured us that this company was registered with the Secretary of State. She suggested a follow-up call later in the week with a “bookkeeper” indicating the bookkeeper “would be responsible for all of those filings.”

One would think Wiley, Price or Radulovich would have that information at hand but true to AOC form, they do not. Once our list is distributed to legislators, it will be simultaneously posted here.

If anyone happens to stumble upon any additional information regarding the formation of Wiley Price & Radulovich, LLP that we might have overlooked, kindly post in-thread or drop us a note in the private message window at https://forms.hush.com/judicialcouncilwatcher . We strive for accuracy in our reports and are not attempting to defame such a prestigious law firm with so many state and government clients. We’re just wondering why they don’t show up on the Secretary of States website and WPR can’t seem to explain it.

Here is the contracts list: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/lr-JBCL-Semiannual-Contract-Report-08-01-2013.pdf

Now everyone can be an investigator. Open the list and compare the information provided to what is found on the secretary of states website here. http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/