Alleged embezzlement may cost ex-CFO house

A financial consultant who allegedly embezzled $3.5 million from the nonprofit operating a parking garage beneath Golden Gate Park will likely lose his house to pay back the money.

The Music Concourse Community Partnership, which runs the garage, has secured a court judgment against former CFO Greg Colley, including the deed to his Marin County house, MCCP Director Richard Bingham told the Golden Gate Concourse Authority on Tuesday.

In addition, the authority has hired external auditors to determine exactly how the money was embezzled and will turn their findings over to the state Attorney General’s Office, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, according to Bingham.

“When I first found out [about the embezzlement], my reaction was, ‘How can we throw him in jail?’” Bingham said. “But I found out that, as a private citizen, I can’t.”

The sale of Colley’s house is expected to come close to covering the loss, and the garage’s finances will not be harmed by the financial loss, according to Bingham.

The City Attorney’s Office asked the MCCP to provide detailed financial statements by March 21, according to a letter from City Controller Ed Harrington, Recreation and Park Director Yomi Agunbiade and Concourse Authority President Ron Miguel to Bingham sent Monday.

Colley, a contractor, reportedly confessed last month to taking the funds and making them to use stock trades, according to Sam Singer, a spokesman retained by MCCP. Colley was dismissed from his job.

The partnership has hired CPA Mark Lumer to fill the CFO position, Bingham said.

The embezzled funds came from private donations that had been set aside for cost overruns associated with the construction of the controversial $55 million garage, according to Singer. No public or taxpayer funds were involved.

“I think more oversight could help the MCCP,” said authority commissioner John Rizzo, who suggested the partnership add more board members. Bingham said he’s open to discussing an annual audit from the City Controller’s Office, too.

San Francisco entered a lease agreement with the partnership in 2003, allowing the nonprofit to go forward with building the800-space garage.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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