SC

Penny Tax Scam: More Revelations

SCRUTINY ON “RICHLAND COUNTY ROBBERS” INTENSIFIES In the two weeks since we first reported on a ramp-up in the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR)’s investigation of the Richland County “penny tax,” things have certainly gotten interesting … It turns out there’s some serious smoke associated with this $1.2 billion heist…

SCRUTINY ON “RICHLAND COUNTY ROBBERS” INTENSIFIES

In the two weeks since we first reported on a ramp-up in the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR)’s investigation of the Richland County “penny tax,” things have certainly gotten interesting …

It turns out there’s some serious smoke associated with this $1.2 billion heist … which remains one of (if not the) most corrupt thing we’ve ever covered on this website.

To recap: After county residents narrowly rejected this tax hike in 2010, Republican and Democratic leaders of the local legislative delegation got together and took matters into their own hands.  With the approval of S.C. governor Nikki Haley, they passed a law seizing control of the local election commission and installed their hand-picked puppet as its leader.

This puppet then proceeded to rig the 2012 vote – targeting excessive shortages of voting machines in county precincts that voted against the tax hike in 2010 (possibly working in concert with her intimate relations in the pro-tax movement at the time).

Despite compelling evidence, the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) has refused to launch an investigation into any of this.  Not only that, the S.C. Supreme Court (without comment) upheld the rigged election – and the puppet who pulled it off got rewarded with a new job and a lifetime pension.

Oh, and all the connected insiders who helped orchestrate the heist are now profiting from it.

Doing the latest bit of digging on the scam?  Reporter Ron Aiken of The Nerve, a Columbia, S.C.-based news site.

According to Aiken’s report, the proceeds of the “penny tax” are being routed through a shady third-party organization operating out of a nifty suburban Columbia, S.C. facility.  Taxpayers shelled out $560,878 on this twenty-person office – just to get it up and running.

That cost is in addition to a pair of $1.5 million “public relations” doled out to politically connected firms, $614,457 in funding for a “small business enterprise program” (which is also racking up $219,378 on personnel, another $250,231 on attorneys and $122,760 for computer software system) and another $400,000 in payroll for the “penny tax” program management staff.

Obviously none of that falls remotely under “transportation-related projects” – which are the only things supposed to be funded by proceeds from this tax.

Shady, huh?  Indeed … which is why the SCDOR led by director Rick Reames launched its investigation in the first place (a probe which is now being pursued criminally by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division).

And as we noted in a previous report, initial “transportation-related projects” receiving funding aren’t even remotely representative of critical infrastructure needs.  Instead,  proceeds are going to non-essential beautification projects benefiting the University of South Carolina – whose top lobbyist is married to one of the businessmen making big bucks off this scam.

Par for the course in this corrupt state, sadly …

The biggest revelation of Aiken’s report, though, were some numbers he found digging through the fine print of an invoice.  Specifically, he discovered the current county contract for “penny tax” disbursements was valued at a whopping $81.9 million – $30.1 million of which was paid out in a lump sum last October.

None of that money is being spent in accordance with county procurement laws – it’s all being run through a shady third-party “professional development team.”

What a fleecing …

We wish we could say we had faith in law enforcement and prosecutors in the Palmetto State to thoroughly investigate and vigorously prosecute this scam – but if we said that, we’d be lying.

After all, it’s been three years since these “pennies” were stolen from voters in the first place … and nothing has been done about it.

***

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53 comments

RogueElephant December 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm

“It’s only a penny.” But it adds up to real money that the politically connected and their cronies use to further line their pockets. Just another way to bleed the “underclass.”

Reply
Mom December 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

“It’s only a penny” appeals to pp who failed Math.

Reply
violetewebbs December 25, 2015 at 8:40 am

?my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
bf…….
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??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

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Slartibartfast December 25, 2015 at 8:38 pm

But if they were in Richland 1, they’d pass anyway.

Reply
evelynkmarroquin December 26, 2015 at 1:51 am

?my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
cv……..
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??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

Reply
beverlytjoness December 26, 2015 at 2:02 am

?my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
gd…………
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??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.

Reply
Fecal Matters December 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I think someone dropped Lee Bussell on his head when he was a child. Seems a little slow.

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Giles December 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

SC is one of the most corrupt places in the country. Why? Lots of reasons but mainly because our main stream press sucks. Always has, always will.

Until we have a thriving press that is unafraid to tackle the “big crooks” we will remain a a people governed by a pack of thieving, corrupt bastards.

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well-i-am into it December 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Agree with you there wholeheartedly. The fourth estate (MSM) has given in to every kind of immorality there is professionally.

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9" December 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm

No one is looking to be informed…’News’ is a consumer product,and people buy what they want to hear/read,no matter which aisle you’re on..

Reply
Creepy Belgian Girl December 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm Reply
Slartibartfast December 25, 2015 at 8:36 pm

That is an extremely true and important understanding of the “Newz Biz.” If you were to ask, the very large majority would tell you that they think local news outlets are honest, not understanding that the people the news reports on pay their salary or regulate them. You should call yourself 10″

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12" December 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Jay J. Blanco December 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm

That’s the whole country but the biggest mistake was people not taking a active role in what’s going on in their back yard.

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Y'all be dumb December 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Don’t forget…most native South Carolinians are under educated and easily manipulated.
A bunch of dumb marks make things easy for corrupt politicians.

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euwe max December 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

…and in other news, Trump makes fools of Republicans.

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erneba December 24, 2015 at 5:39 pm

“According to Aiken’s report, the proceeds of the “penny tax” are being routed through a shady third-party organization..”
I am not that well-informed about tax collecting and how those proceeds are router through the system, but routing the “penny tax” proceeds leaving the system and being router through private firm should raise more red flags than a direct kick in the nuts during a soccer game.
Why is it necessary to direct these tax proceeds to a private organization outside of normal government channels? What are they trying to accomplish(hide) with this maneuver.

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Get em December 24, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Jail time baby….. Cuff and stuff them.

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The Colonel (R) December 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Were that it was to be. ..

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CorruptionInColumbia December 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Yet the fools line up on here, article after article, attempting to shame those of us who speak out and fight against these attempts to bleed us out, even more. They really seem to believe that if we give these scum enough of our money, they will start spending it responsibly, for the benefit of the public.

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Pete December 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Here here!

Well said.

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diannetkeith December 28, 2015 at 3:27 am

?my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
vo…..
??
??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

Reply
CorruptionInIntelligence December 28, 2015 at 8:44 am

The penny tax scam story is just a hoax by gun control freaks to take away our guns!

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Please December 24, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Will Alan Wilson do his job on this?

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CorruptionInColumbia December 24, 2015 at 10:52 pm

You’re kidding, right?
:-)

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Vincent Lehotsky December 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

He may be doing his job. Because “Looking The Other Way” is part of the job description for the SC AG. So don’t be critical if Alan does his impersonation of an ostrich sticking its’ head in a dirt hole. That’s his job and he’s well paid at doing it. Besides, this is what the voters of South Carolina want in a SCAG …

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Sic Semper Tyrannis December 25, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Add every politician in SC, and I’m good. Complete waste of money paying these people. Must be the right breed.

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Insider December 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Sounds like the dam tax authority is the only agency that goes after corruption. I’m not sure that’s a good thing but it brought down Al Capone.

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U B Nutscrackers December 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

You damn conspiratorial morons would accuse Santa Claus of breaking and entering if you could get away with it.

Bring It December 25, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Who gives a F what Reames’ motives are or who he’s connected to if he burns this house down?

Santa Claus December 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

Ho ho ho, thank you kiddies, you left the cookies I crave!

But your 60″ TV will look great in my man cave!

Coincidence December 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

The DOR is run by a lawyer with connections to Leatherman. This is possibly his doings.

Daffy Duck December 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

He may be connected to Elmer Fudd as well.

Correction December 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Reames is slowly and carefully building his resume for higher office. He’s no Leatherman crony, he’s appointed by Haley and Haley and Leatherman hate each other.

N.P December 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Reames is angry because his law firm was supposed to get a lot of the penny tax money, but got screwed. This is not about fighting the bad guys, this is about the lack of honor amongst thieves!

UhHuh December 25, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Reames is being groomed by the establishment for higher office. While he may want to clean up this mess, it sure does fit nicely in the plan.

Boz December 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

We still buddies?

Reply
Vincent Lehotsky December 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Unequivocally For The Record; NO …

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Boz December 25, 2015 at 4:08 pm

I fell in love with you.What’s wrong with me?

NP December 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Reames is angry because his law firm was supposed to get a lot of the penny tax money, but got screwed. This is not about fighting the bad guys, this is about the lack of honor amongst thieves!

His firm wants its share.

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Bible Thumper December 25, 2015 at 11:35 pm

And what South Carolina needs is honorable thieves. ;-)

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Actions December 26, 2015 at 6:30 am

Too bad you refuse to hold Haley to the same standard.

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Bible Thumper December 26, 2015 at 12:38 pm

This article is about corruption in Richland county, yet the only person mentioned by name involved in it is Nikki Haley. The extent of her involvement was to sign “a bill (the innocuous purpose of which was of) allowing them to combine the offices of voter registration and elections and appoint a new director.” https://www.fitsnews.com/2013/02/15/ron-aiken-was-the-penny-tax-vote-rigged/#CpBloEZkXJ3EZCTD.99

That was less than two months after Haley took office and twenty months before said corrupt election took place. It must have fooled the legislature too since it pass unanimously in both the House and Senate. Fitsnews never misses an opportunity to hold Haley responsible for every perceived mistake of any of her appointees, yet here fit fails to give Haley credit for appointing Rick Reames as director of SCDOT whose actions in pursuing this investigation fits clearly approves.

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Eric December 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

U are an idiot.

Bible Thumper December 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

You just proved your brillance. NOT!

we don't spell at Clemson December 27, 2015 at 4:03 am

‘brilliance’

Philip Branton December 25, 2015 at 11:35 pm

Hmm………..we wonder if the team of people here in the comment section could start a class action lawsuit against the STATE newspaper for NOT reporting this news to begin with…? Get Wil Folks on the stand and have him take a look at the phone records between the State newspaper employees, and the Nerve and decide if the State had access to the tips the Nerve had access too…. to write about the dealings after 3 years…? Furthermore, we would also like to call the Civil Servant to the stand who handles the “paperwork” for not actually being a member of the FITSNEWS comment section and divulging this network in real time. The only way to really hinder these types of dealings is to have civil servants who SERVE the people.

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Look the Other Way December 26, 2015 at 9:56 am

The passive corruption at SLED seems to be no small part of the overall state problem. Again and again. No wonder SC politicians hate the feds.

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JohnBoy December 26, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Everyone answers to Leatherman. After all, His will be done – and the “His” means Leatherman.

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Lone Ranger December 26, 2015 at 11:06 am

Sticks and stones will yet break their bones because every HONEST voter figgas

After T-Bone—Diamond Jim—Darrell & McBride—it’s a thugocracy run by… !!!

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Confederate Racists December 28, 2015 at 8:49 am

Heritage not hate, right buddy? Racist throwback.

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Lone Ranger December 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm

“Confederate”–NO relation to Confederate–enjoyed being Dimwit and full of crap
But now the boy says he would appreciate it if YOU keep buying him his SNAP !!!

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Soft Sigh from Hell December 26, 2015 at 11:12 am

I don’t think we should conclude that all politicians and high bureaucrats are scum; I do think it might be wise to assume it though, at least initially. Let the honest and competent ones then prove it to us. We should cautiously trust them only then.

I still find it mighty suspicious that the previous county administrator suddenly disappeared without explanation, only to reappear in a lesser county nearby. He had a decent reputation I think. Did he see this coming?

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