All agencies located at 2033 North Main Street, Suite 700
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
The U.S. Communities/Office Depot national contract for office and school supplies has been refered to as "the personal ATM of Steve Hamill".
The late-Great Walter Cronkite:
"One of the greatest tragedies of the last ten years is the near extinction of true investigative journalism, and the evaporation of a skeptical press. The results of such are the flourishing of corruption at the political and corporate level unlike anything since the days of Tammany Hall"
Amount of alleged 'Bait & Switch' overcharging on the national U.S. Communities agreement by Office Depot:
$100 million or more in overcharges per year
Amount of kickbacks from Office Depot to U.S. Communities over 3 years:
$20 million in kickbacks +
The truth about U.S. Communities, California Communities, Canadian Communities, HB Capital Resources, Law Offices of Stephen Hamill:
All of the above organizations are located at:
2033 N. Main Street, Suite 700
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
HB Capital is named for its two principals, Stephen Hamill and Jerry Burke, who operate multiple shadowy enterprises from the office in Walnut Creek. With names like "U.S. Communities", California Communities and "Canadian Communities," these firms offer a so called "public benefit" services to government and private groups.
It is strange that so many intertwined enterprises are located in the same office suite and are run by Stephen (Steve) Hamill and Jerry Burke.
More concerning is the fact the U.S. Communities has a $700 million dollar a year contract with Office Depot for office and classroom supplies.
Office Depot has provided over $20 million in kickbacks to U.S. Communities (read Stephen Hamill and his partner Jerry Burke).
When questioned by the press U.S. Communities deflected the question and stated that they receive just 2% of the annual sales from Office Depot. The contract is valued at between $600 and $700 million per year. The just 2% in fees amounts to between $12-14 million per year. That brings the alleged kickback totals to much more than the $20 million over three years
Even more concerning, three ex-senior Office Depot executives now occupy high paying management positions at U.S. Communities (Kevin Jurhing, Paul Terragno and Chris Robb).
Currently the Office Depot/U.S. Communities national contract for office and classroom supplies is under investigation for fraud by the Attorney Generals of Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, Colorado and Missouri.
In fact the organizations located in Walnut Creek (CA), are enriching themselves at taxpayer expenses.
The Orange County Register, concerning the intermingling of funds, and just what goes on at California Communities, has recently raised even more concern in an investigative report.
NOPA Reports California & Ohio Join Other States in Opening Investigations of Office Depot
Refer to a friend
Business Wire 2009
2009-07-21 20:32:04 -
Today, the National Office Products Alliance (NOPA) called upon the Office of the Attorney General of California to include in its investigation of Office Depot a thorough examination of the role played by the Walnut Creek, CA-based U.S. Communities organization which has allegedly received as much as $20 million in kickback payments from Office Depot for sponsoring the national contract now under investigation in six states.
The CEO of Office Depot Steve Odland
(the U.S. Communities Agreement) "theoretically is just a hunting license" (for the sales force)
Investors confrence call 28 July 2009
Current investigations at the State level by Attorney Generals:
Current fraud investigations of Office Depot's federal contracts:
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Department of Defense (DOD)
Department of Education (DOE)
General Services Administration (GSA)
Public agency, private benefit
An obscure public agency operates outside the public view, often awarding financial benefits to private business. Critics call it a bad way to do the public's business.
By BRIAN JOSEPH
The Orange County Register
Not a single elected official sits on the California Communities board.
'We get paid well'
Staffing is also a separate function, provided by the private firm HB Capital Resources, which received the largest profits from California Communities.
A company of about 30 people, HB Capital is named for its two principals, Stephen Hamill and Jerry Burke, who operate several enterprises from an office in Walnut Creek. With names like "U.S. Communities" and "Canadian Communities," these firms offer "public benefit" services to government and private groups.
Hamill declined to say how much of the $10 million collected from California Communities was profit, acknowledging only that "We get paid well." He noted, however, that HB Capital operates without profit guarantees and estimated that more than 50 percent of staff time is spent on projects that never appear before the board.
Ft. Myers, Florida