Skater Rob Dyrdek Accused of Defrauding L.A. of Millions
Skater Rob Dyrdek is named in a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles. Internal city documents show an inquiry into allegations that Dyrdek, and his business associate Joe Ciaglia, are guilty of dozens of felony crimes, including fraud, perjury, collusion and bid-rigging in the construction of skate parks all over the city. The charges say Dyrdek and Ciaglia are guilty of securing city contracts with fraudulent charity offers, as well as engaging in “low-bid and change-order” schemes after a contract is awarded. The alleged evidence comes from multiple sources in multiple states, including former employees of Ciaglia now turned whistle-blowers.
Over two dozen times, Rob Dyrdek has offered to give local governments “design services” to build Street League “certified” skate parks. Dyrdek never says what these design services are, but says they’re worth $50,000 and must go directly to his own business partner. Dyrdek’s offer is usually contingent on Joe Ciaglia, of California Skateparks construction, getting a contract to build that’s worth twenty times the donation. Dyrdek’s offer also puts in writing that Drydek and Ciaglia get free use of the plazas for their Street League skate tour, creating long-term profits through the huge cost the Street League corporation saves in venue rental and temporary course construction.
Rob Dyrdek, Joe Ciaglia and L.A. City Councilmember Tony Cardenas open another Street League-style plaza in Council District 6.
Beyond what appears to be an obvious scam to get public contracts, Dyrdek and Ciaglia are facing other issues of illegality. Ciaglia has admitted to nondisclosure of past and pending lawsuits against California Skateparks. That’s generally a felony when bidding on public money. Also at issue are allegations that Ciaglia has a record of building without permits and skirting land-development laws, all while giving cash to council members in districts where the alleged illegal builds take place.
Stoner Skate Plaza stands as a prime example of the results of this allegedly criminal enterprise. Literally dozens of local, state and federal laws were broken to construct a massive complex mere feet from residences. The Stoner Park Noise Impact and Mitigation Evaluation Report by Behrens and Associate, Inc. found the noise to be “unhealthful to humans.” Real-estate losses are in the millions, with a spike in the number of devalued homes for sale and apartment vacancies. The city has proposed to spend an additional $1 million in taxpayer money to wall up the skate plaza.
Attorney Jeffrey D. Dermer filed complaints on behalf of Spohn Ranch, a skate-park construction company:
1. Attempting to collude and bid-rig the Hansen Dam skate park project.
2. Perjury & fraud arising against the City of Los Angeles pursuant to the Skatepark Agreement.
3. Perjury, fraud, and violations of the California False Claims Act on the following specific bids and projects: Hansen Dam Skate Plaza, Stoner Skate Park, the Jackie Tatum Harvard Recreation Center and the Southeast Valley Roller and Skateboard Rink.
4. Fraud in securing a design-build project in Kennesaw, Georgia — including misrepresenting California as Los Angeles’ “Preferred Skatepark Vendor” in the Kennesaw proposal.
5. Undisclosed conflicts of interest arising from a series of ‘sole source’ preferred vendor projects funded by the Rob Dyrdek Foundation that would never have been let had the true facts been disclosed (that Dyrdek is his business partner and design consultant).
6. Engaging in sham bidding as part of an admitted “low-bid and change-order” strategy used to take control and change projects outside the scope of the competitive bidding laws.
7. Deliberately failing to disclose collective-bargaining agreements on one or more bids to avoid payment of union dues (Iron Workers, Int’l Cements Masons, Carpenter’sUnion).
8. Failing to use the listed design team in the DB Agreement in subsequent projects and instead using related parties such as its subsidiary, SITE Design.
9. Building concrete skatepark structures without a Los Angeles building permit, leading to a major accident where a concrete truck fell through a ramp.
10. Engaging in unlawful business practices in Utah, leading to a Utah Attorney’s General investigation.
(“I’m certain that there are many more instances — I have just begun collecting this information.” –Jeffrey D. Dermer)