Water Privatization

ZSplash Forums AskAlbert Water Privatization

This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 7 years ago.

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  • #728603
    avatar
    michaelduffy
    Participant

    Michael,
    I remember seeing you on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. She asked you to describe capitalism, you replied, “Its Like Garbage Rising”. That about knocked me out of my chair laughing. I have a story which will support your definition. I worked for Aqua America Water Corporation from 1996 to 2006. Upon witnessing fraudulent accounting I notified the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission with documents showing their fraud only to have the PUC alert Aqua America, thus a ensuing conspiracy coverup began, this was in November 2005.I was fired in January 2006 and thought I had filed a whistle-blower lawsuit only to be Hustled by my own attorney. My story has many layers of corruption,greed and evil which fits right in with your description of what Capitalism is. What I would like to do is share my findings through my own personal investigation into this “Hustle” in encountered. I have been trying to alert the press in Philadelphia where I live but no one seems to be interested. What I have found is the political connections between the CEO of Aqua America Nick DeBenedictis and the PUC. The Commissioner of the PUC in 2006 was Wendell Holland whom John Clista reported to. Mr. Clista is the Audit Supervisor with the PUC, he was the person I contacted with the documents showing the fraud I discovered at Aqua America. Mr. Clista was complicate with Mr. Holland in the conspiracy.
    I have amassed over 400 documents which lays out the disease Capitalism is. The water industry was always municipal water companies until the 1990’s privatization Hustle. My need is to share my work with the ZNet community along with any body else who might be interested in my story. I have spent many hundreds of hours on this story and feel a need to share it. I also am seeking to right the injustices brought against me and pursue restitution. I will not go quietly into the night, I have done nothing wrong only to be hustled by these thugs. I have been granted Social Security Disability benefits which I worked and paid for due to both physical and mental anguish. Being a ZNet sustainer for the past 4 years I have shown my belief in your new way of economics. Please advise as to my request to fully divulge my story which I believe will educate us as to the corruption in Capitalist America today.
    Thank you for your time.
    Regards,
    Michael Duffy
    P.S. Mr. DeBenidictis used to boast about how the New York Stock Exchange was founded by a group of Hustlers selling stock in a bogus water company.

    #728604
    avatar
    Michael Albert
    Participant

    Hi,

    I am not sure what to suggest. However, if yur research is solid, my guess is it would be something for an investigative report, investigative journalism. We don’t have resources for that but you might try First Look, the new operation committed to such journalism. You might also try Mother Jones magazine…

    #728605
    avatar
    michaelduffy
    Participant

    Michael,
    Thanks for the information, I will keep you posted.
    Hope I wasn’t too long with my story,I appreciate your time.

    Michael Duffy

    #728879

    Anonymous

    Water is a human right so the privatization of water is immoral, unethical and illegal (according to international human rights legislation. And what is happening in Detroit these past few years is criminal. The problem I have seen is that Americans are essentially nice, generous people and innocent to the ways of corporate evil. Therefore water privatization is not something expected and so it is something easily denied. Meanwhile small towns in the US have their groundwater wells sucked dry, while farmers in India have no water because Cola corporations suck up their groundwater aquifers from corporate wells. Maybe a solution in America is for regions to elect or hire water security personnel like they do their sheriffs. Then the community has to be educated to report suspicious activity at town water wells, fracking activities, etc. Finding a solution is a life and death issue, no doubt about it.

    #728942
    avatar
    jonpatterns
    Participant

    Hi Michael

    It seems to me that you have two separate objectives-

    1) Gaining compensation for the way Aqua America Water Corporation treated you. Perhaps also the way the legal system has treated?

    2) Informing the public about fraud and privatization of the water industry.

    For the first objective you will probably need to seek good legal advise.

    For the second it sounds like you may have enough material to create a book or documentary.

    Further questions,
    What was your role at Aqua America Water Corporation?

    Regarding the ‘…400 documents which lay[] out the disease Capitalism…’, are they all about your case and the the water industry, or more generally about capitalism?

    #728966

    Anonymous

    MichaelDuffy As I posted earlier the water privatisation issue is life and death, it is incredibly important.
    Are you thinking about going through legal channels? Success would depend a lot on the judges in your area & how tied they are to the corporate prison industry. Friends have had poor lawyers so they changed lawyers, but some trial decisions had already been made so it has been a terrible ordeal. Perhaps timing would be a challenge for using the court system, and $ too. I’m not personally familiar with lawyers that specialize in whistle blowing but it might be worth a try.
    Have you thought about dedicating a blog here to your experience? Maybe anonymously? Still it sounds like you would need to clearly know where you stand legally and if you are in danger of going to jail by sharing the info.
    You could contact Mother Jones and other periodicals and newspapers with a letter of introduction to see if they are interested. Or possibly connect with a journalist you admire.
    Have you thought about putting together a book to publish? There are some writer sites where writers support and help each other. There are also sites that literary agents list their areas of expertise. Are you comfortable organizing and writing up your inforamtion?
    You could contact someone like Danny Schechter or Kevin Barrett and volunteer for an interview on their radio shows. They are both knowledgeable about the whistleblower perspective.

    #728970
    avatar
    michaelduffy
    Participant

    Vicki,
    I have already gone the legal route back in 2006. The auditor I contacted with the fraudulent documents showing fraud committed by Aqua America hustled me and I believe my lawyer as well.My lawyer told me that the documents I disclosed did not show any fraud. My story is really a barn burner, it has many layers and many different types of injustices perpetrated against me. Back in 2005 the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission was conducting a 6 month internal audit of Aqua America.It was a five year audit,by state law every five years utilities governed by the PUC would conduct a internal audit, meaning they set up shop within Aqua America for 6 months. We were informed by management that if we could help the auditors in any way feel free to do so, I have the email.
    I took them up on it and requested a meeting with PUC auditor John Clista and was granted a meeting, it lasted 3 hours. Mr. Clista was intrigued with my reporting to him. My first issue was to do with as built construction drawings at Aqua America, they simply were not doing them. I am a drafts-person and was saddled with doing the revisions to some 800 drawings. By law these drawings were to be completed within 6 months of a construction project. It is important to have up to date drawings for other utilities wishing to dig, our drawings were used to mark out our pipe lines so they would not hit them. But he was much more interested in my other issue of the fraudulent documents showing fraud at Aqua America. I provided these documents to him, this was in November 2005, in December 2005 I was informed by Mr. Clista that he was required by law to inform Aqua America that I had approached him and turned over these documents. Here is where it gets interesting, he told me he was not turning over the documents showing the fraud I alleged was going on at Aqua America. I have the email. I felt vindicated because Mr. Clista once told me “I Would Not Want To Be In Your Shoes”. I really felt good at this point, we had calculated from the documents that Aqua America had diverted 40% of capital expenditures onto expense d items, such as office supplies,etc…. I was fired in January 2006 an by March 2006 Aqua America stock had dropped 6% in two days. It went on to collapse by 40% over the next 6 years. Mr. Clista turned over the fraud documents to his boss the Commissioner of the Pa. PUC, Mr. Wendell Holland. Mr. Holland perpetrated a conspiracy coverup by contacting Nick DeBenedictis CEO of Aqua America. As I mentioned their stock dropped 40% with explanation. Jim Cramer of “Mad Money” was confused by the drop in Aqua America stock. You can Google him, He dropped them from his charitable portfolio. Aqua America stock bounced back in 2012 after using a 2003 FedEX vs. IRS lawsuit, using their award in using repair parts as expense-ed items, not capital as they were required to do. Aqua America used this accounting loop hole to by pass their IRS taxes by $33 million dollars in one year. This is when I realized Aqua America had been for years expensing capital expenditures. I filed a wrongful termination lawsuit but my lawyer was involved with the coverup and I settled out of court.
    But, as I have mentioned I continued to follow Aqua America very closely. Turns out Mr. Wendell Holland was elected to the Board of Directors in 2011.
    I can go on and on, and will do so on a blog as you have mentioned. Maybe you could direct me in setting one up, it will NOT be anonymous I name names and dates, I have the documents over 400. All dedicated to the Aqua America Hustle! I will contact the gentlemen you informed me of, Mr. Schechter and Mr. Barrett.
    My Story has many twists and turns. I have been screwed over and will not go quietly into that dark night. I am not disabled both physically and mentally thanks to the wrongs committed against me. I am on Social Security Disability for the past 2 years, I am only 59, the past 10 years have been pure hell for me.
    My story has:
    1. The initial fraud I blew the whistle on.
    2. The hustling of me and the ever infamous coverup, think “Watergate”.
    Thank you for posting to my story.
    Regards,
    Michael Duffy

    #728971
    avatar
    michaelduffy
    Participant

    jonpatterns,

    I was a draftsman and Analyst for the Maintenance and Construction Department at Aqua America in Springfield, Pa.
    I have tried the legal route and was hustled out of my reward for my whistle-blowing.

    All of my 400 pages are dedicated to Aqua America and their fraudulent practices.
    I will be starting a blog dedicated to “My Story” and Aqua America.
    I will be publishing my book online here at ZNet soon.
    Regards,
    Michael Duffy

    #728974
    avatar
    michaelduffy
    Participant

    Vicki,
    Aqua America used to be called “Philadelphia Suburban Water Co.”
    They existed from 1886 to 1992, 106 years. It was a local small water company who did not believe in profit making in their business. They were born out of Swarthmore College, a group of professors layed out pipes, connecting the buildings on their campus in 1886. Mr. DeBenedictis likes to use these 106 years as the longevity of the for profit Aqua America business he created in 1992, such BullHockey! Nick says at press conference’s “Aqua America has been acquiring and building a for profit water company for the past 128 years,what a “Hustler” Nicky is. Their by laws included things like, “No Monopoly”, “No Political PACS”, essentially they were not in business to make a profit, that was Nick DeBenedictis’s idea in 1992 when he was appointed CEO and Chairman of the Board, where he embarked on a growth through acquisition strategy.
    He was well connected politically in Pennsylvania being in the administration of Gov. Thornburg in the 1980’s, he and the Pa. PUC would go on to rewrite Pennsylvania law to suit his agenda of making money from selling water.
    Regards,
    Michael Duffy

    #728975

    Anonymous

    Michal, Whew What a story. A great American tragedy with personal and global implications. ALL the ingredients. I am a freelance writer but I’m not sure how I could help you out of your dilemma.

    #728980
    avatar
    michaelduffy
    Participant

    Vicki,
    Yes it is quite a story. I might be disabled but am able to dictate “My Story” to a publisher. My story is basically written, contained in four volumes”
    Vol. 1 The Good Years at Aqua America 1994 to 2005.Their market cap went from 100 million dollars to 3.5 billion, yes “With a B”.
    Vol. II I Blew The Whistle or, thought I did. The Pa PUC by law was supposed to inform me to file a Whistle-blower lawsuit and contact the FBI. This a Pa. statute which I have sent to the Pa.Inspector General. I am waiting for a reply to my letter of May 13, 2014 requesting an investigation. I will not hold my breath.
    Vol. III The Bad Years at Aqua America 2006 to 2011. Their stock dropped 40%, there were no stock splits as there was every 18 months from 1994 to 2005. Stock price inflation was curtailed due to my whistle-blowing, thus capital expenditures were not being expensed. Items had to be itemized over a 100 year period, the life of a water pipe. Expensed items could be written off entirely in the year stated. Market Capitalization at Aqua America dropped from 3.5 billion to 2.3 billion, that’s a loss of 1.2 billion, WOW! Thats what Jim Cramer said, and dropped Aqua America like a hot potato.
    Vol. IV The Resurrection of Aqua America, due to a FEDEX lawsuit vs. the IRS in 2003 they were able to expense capital expenditures, miraculously Aqua America stock jumped back to the $35 dollar range with stock splits. All is good again.
    These four volumes all 400 pages explains everything about the Hustle of Aqua America.
    Regards,
    Michael Duffy
    Stay tuned Folks.

    #729005

    Anonymous

    this may be of interest to you – help finding an agent. http://www.agentquery.com/

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