11.18.2011

Oakland Chamber of Commerce Executive Board Member Charged with Committing $19.75 Million Corporate Fraud

In a case that is emblematic of the corporate chicanery and greed the Occupy movement proclaims to stand against, Todd Hansen, a former president of Posterscope, a global advertising firm, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with orchestrating a financial fraud to inflate company earnings, thereby enriching himself.
According to the FBI, Hansen and a former colleague at Posterscope, "are accused of engaging in a five-year, $19.75 million accounting fraud scheme to make it appear that the Company was meeting certain performance targets when it was not, so that they could receive higher salary increases, bonuses, and stock options."
By inflating the company's earnings with fictitious revenues the FBI says Hansen was able to boost his annual bonuses by $1.1 million during his five years at the company.
Hansen is also accused of misusing thousands of dollars of the company's funds to rent apartments, pay for country club memberships, and purchase airplane tickets for himself, his family, and friends. (Read the FBI's press release.)
Hansen was arrested on November 3 and awaits trial in the United States District Court, Central District of California. According to Hansen's lawyer, William Portanova, "this whole mess arises out of the bookkeeping practices of other people several years ago. We are working to straighten the entire situation out."  
The Oakland Chamber of Commerce recently put pressure on Oakland's City Council and Mayor to evict the Occupy encampment from Frank Ogawa Plaza, claiming the protestersare harming businesses in downtown Oakland. The regional office of Clear Channel Outdoor run by Hansen is at 555 12th Street in Oakland.
Hansen was elected to the OaklandChamber of Commerce Board in February of 2010, and according to the Chamber's web site still serves as the organization's Chair of Communications.
Over the past decade Clear Channel Outdoor has inked numerous advertising contracts with various governments and public agencies in the Bay Area, including advertising contracts with the city of Oakland, San Francisco, and various transit authorities.

15 comments:

m. martin said...

Hi,just wondering if your source here is www.occupythechamber.info ? If not, can you reference some other sources? thanks!

Darwin BondGraham said...

Hi m. martin,

I linked the FBI press release.

I also talked with Hansen's lawyer this morning. That's where the quote comes from.

I also talked with the FBI field office responsible for the investigation.

Sources abound. And yes, www.occupythechamber.info has written up an excellent account also, and they've linked the DOJ complaint so you can download it.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Thanks for the research. Our town is getting more interesting day by day.

HorusIV said...

You DO realize Clear Channel IS the PROPAGANDA MINISTRY of the New World Order. .CLEAR CHANNEL owns 80% of Newspapers & 80% of Radio stations in the US. Also their subsidiary SMG (Stadium Managment Group) controls(manages) 80% of major Venues in the country (including the Oakland / Alameda County Coliseum. (owned by the City,) Currently "The Overstock .com " Col.
CC also controls LIVE NATION *0% of R&R bands on the road are promoted by Livenation.

THEY CONTROL ALL MEDIA...Thats why you Never hear The CLASH on the radio.......

Unknown said...

@Horus. dude, I love the Clash, but am keenly aware of their shortcomings and inconsistencies between their rhetoric and their actions. the Clash gets played on corporate radio a lot. Rock the Casbah, through no fault of their own, has become the soundtrack to any military action the US takes in the middle east. I think I agree with your anti-CC stance, but your conspiracy theory falls flat.

HorusIV said...

DEAR UNKNOWN: Sure the Right HIJACKED the song, Casbah..a warning against...NOT in praise of BLOOD4OIL policies...Ever hear White Riot, Death or Glory, or anything off the "Sandanista" album? on the radio, I mean. Ive heard Anarchy in the UK as elevator music..but Never on the radio. I was Hardcore Punk in the early 80's and Also viewed the CLASH & J. Strummer as sellouts at the time...Ive studied the Prophet Joe Strummer since and have a new found respect for his politics and strategy. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! (no I dont really think of JS as a prophet..prophetic perhaps...

IT aint about the Clash....that was just a smart ass comment on my part ...EVERYTHING ELSE IS TRUE.

and Rupert Murdoch is at the top of the pyramid...Check it.

newinfo said...

Thank you for this article. We need more intelligent research, like this, on the 1%.
@m. martin - Thank you for the link to www.occupythechamber.info . I didn't know about them. Very good.

Anonymous said...

Let's be "clear". Train In Vain and Casbah get played alot. Not White Riot, not Police On My Back, not Clampdown, etc. etc.. No "The Clash" in its prime (Sandanista, Rope, etc.) does NOT get played - ever.

J.R. said...

$19.75 million fraud and no Perp Walk?

These White Collar Crooks get off way too easy ....

HorusIV said...

Train in Vain, Always got radio play...and always SUCKED..so did/does Casbah ...especially compared to Armageddon Time or Bankrobber Dub.. " Remember to kick it over, No-one will guide you thru Armageddon Time"....prophetic., No?.....2012/99%?
Whens the last time you heard Marvin Gayes "Whats Goin On?....Corporate playlists man......
Netflix has a good Bio-mentary on JS and the Clash. Ive softened my Anti-Clash stance since viewing it.
For the record: The statement was NOT meant as a conspiracy theory just a rhetorical argument.
Peace -Out ~H

Do The Right Thing said...

Darwin,

Great follow up reporting on the Todd Hansen story. The website www.OccupyTheChamber.info broke this story at noon on Friday when the site went live. Your post went up at 4pm. It seems that you got this information from that website. Will you link to and cite OccupytheChamber.info in your post? It's the ethical and polite thing to do.

Ted said...

Todd Hansen is not currently listed as a member of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce.
http://www.oaklandchamber.com/about/board%202010-2011.asp

Darwin BondGraham said...

"Do the Right Thing,"

See my above response to m. martin.

My sources were the FBI and Hansen's lawyer.

Had I known about the occupythechamber web site I would have linked it. Great research folks have done. Keep it up!

But keep in mind nobody really "broke" this story. It's been in the news since November 4: http://www.moreaboutadvertising.com/2011/11/aegis-faces-19-75m-write-off-over-us-fraud-allegations-at-posterscope/

Darwin BondGraham said...

"Ted,"

Excellent observation! So the Oakland Chamber has changed its web site to delete Hansen.

Unfortunately the Chamber would not return my emails, so we don't know anything about how Hansen's arrest has affected them, or what they would have to say.

Want to See Hansen's mug on the Chamber's web site?

Check out the Chamber's web site on the WayBackMachine - http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

Here's a direct link: http://web.archive.org/web/20101212142726/http://www.oaklandchamber.com/about/board%202010-2011.asp

Zack said...

Not relevant to the fraud case, but I found this gem on the posterscope website you linked to:

"Who is an Out-of-Home consumer? Everyone is. From the moment they leave their homes they are surrounded by Out-of-Home media. It cannot be turned off, it cannot be avoided. In fact Out-of-Home advertising is welcomed as a way of enhancing environments, experiences and journeys."

Yes, who doesn't welcome the environment and experience-enhancing qualities of advertising??

-Z