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Feb 09th
Home Sections NaFFAAgate The “Embezzlement” Issues in the Menorgate/NaFFAAgate Scandals of San Jose
The “Embezzlement” Issues in the Menorgate/NaFFAAgate Scandals of San Jose PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 May 2008 13:52

Rey Villar, a reader from Chicago, sent in this query about our report posted yesterday on the plea-bargain deal entered into by Ben Menor. Mr. Villar asked: “Can you provide a specific allegation against these supposed crooked officers that you're willing to post? Did they mismanage the organization? If so, that's a board management issue. Did they embezzle funds (?), then by all means have the courage to make that claim. Besides the tangential Menor issue, the only real complaint I gathered from my review is that they refused your request to release documents.”

I answered Mr. Villar, whom I requested to read all the articles in the  NaFFAAgate of the I asked him in turn if he did read the article, 

The NaFFAA Is Bankrupt Not Only Financially But Also Intellectually and the two articles that it carried as hyperlinks.


Here are two of the paragraphs in the said article, which contained specific allegations about the modus operandi akin to criminal conduct of some of the national executive officers (NEOs) of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA):

<<Snipped>> The NaFFAA used to receive donations in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from major foundations such as the Bank of America (BA) and Wells Fargo Bank (WFB) but hints of financial impropriety ended the grants. (For instance, the Wells Fargo Foundation gave the NaFFAA $300,000 in 2002. The grant was secured by Greg Macabenta, then a NaFFAA NEO, whose company, the Minority Media, was paid commissions that were not reflected in the NaFFAA financial statement for 2002.) For a breakdown of the 2002 NaFFAA financial statement – and proof of the financial scandal, as it did not include the revenues from the 2002 NaFFAA convention in San Jose, CA – please go to

<<Snipped>> This writer has exposed the financial abuses in the NaFFAA, like when it paid $132,878 in consultants’ fees in 2002. To read this charge of impropriety and other "sins" of then NaFFAA national chairwoman, Loida Nicolas Lewis, please go to The point of my contention was: How can a business that had gross revenue in 2002 of $445,783 spend $132,878 or 29.81% for consultants’ fees? <<Snipped>>

I told also Mr. Villar that I wrote the articles in the in August 2004, and they can still be read by the public.

For those who cannot access the and read the articles, here are some of the specific aspects of the financial scams that happened during the now-infamous NaFFAA national convention in San Jose, California, in August 2002:


Here are my initial findings about the NaFFAA's financial report for the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, as reported to the IRS by submitting Form 990:

  1. NaFFAA's IRS Form 990 declared a gross income of $445,783.
    • In the Schedule of Contributions, the NaFFAA declared the following contributions:

Wells Fargo Foundation


Ford Foundation</FONT< td>


The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation -


TLC-LC, Inc.


Alston & Bird LLP


Edison International


Various Individuals


    •                                                                             =======
                                                                       Total: $442,600.
    • The NaFFAA declared, therefore, other income in the amount of $3,183 (arrived at by deducting $442,600 from $445,783).
  1. If readers may recall, several individuals followed up the demand made by San Francisco-based journalist and broadcaster Pep Red Vasquez for the financial statements (F/S) of the 5th NaFFAA national convention in San Jose, CA, on Aug. 29-30, 2002, and the First Filipino Global Networking Conference in the MosconeCenter, San Francisco, CA, on Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2002. To date, the NaFFAA has refused to issue any F/S about the twin events that it held and sponsored.
  2. Know why the NaFFAA has refused to release the F/S? Based on reports from delegates, the NaFFAA should have derived income just from the convention fees that it charged. For our purposes, we are scaling down the delegates to 200 and 1,000 persons, respectively.
    • San Jose Convention (200 delegates @ $175 each) ----$35,000.
    • Moscone Convention (1,000 delegates @50 each) ------ 50,000.

                                                                                      Total: $85,000.

  1. The NaFFAA reported that more than 2,000 delegates and guests attended the Global Conference at the Moscone Center. It boasted also that there were more than 500 delegates that attended its national convention in San Jose. For our purposes, we just assumed less than half of the NaFFAA reported attendance.
  2. In a recent audit made by the City Auditor of San Jose, CA, it was discovered that Ben Menor, the president of the Northside Community Center diverted illegally $190,000 to the NaFFAA in 2002. Mr. Menor is a member of the NaFFAA national Board, and chairman of the NaFFAA convention in San Jose in August 2002. Please note that the $190,000 is not reflected in the Schedule of Contributions (as enumerated in paragraph 1.1). The question is now, who or what entity deposited the $190,000 checks payable to the NaFFAA in what bank accounts?
    • Who or what entity deposited or pocketed the convention delegates' fees as estimated minimally at $85,000 (as reported in paragraph 2.1)?
    • How true are the reports that the expenses for the twin conventions in Northern CA in 2002 were carried in the NaFFAA F/S for 2002 but the incomes from the same events were not carried in the same financial report?


To date, the NaFFAA national headquarters in Washington, DC, and its chapters in San Francisco and San Jose (California) have refused to make public the financial statement for the NaFFAA convention in San Jose, California.

The public should remember that essentially the audit made by the City Auditor of San Jose confirmed my allegations that were made as early as September 2002 (2-0-0-2) that the NaFFAA NEOs pocketed the revenues generated from their convention in San Jose in August of 2002. They did not turn over to the NaFFAA national treasury the revenues and they charged most of the convention expenses to the NorthsideCommunity Center, which did not also receive even a single cent of the convention revenues. It was quite a modus operandi that I insisted way back in September 2002 that the NaFFAA NEOs who orchestrated the convention in San Jose were indeed crooks (C-R-O-O-K-S). Since September 2002, I have dared the NaFFAA NEOs, especially the convention co-chairs Ben Menor and Rodel Rodis, to sue me for libel if they did not like my calling them as “crooks.” To date, no libel case has been filed by any of the NaFFAA NEOs.

(To be continued . . .)

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Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2008 15:22

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