Posted on June 09 2019
Geo Group Part II
Lobbying & FEC Money Trail
If you haven’t read the DHS-OIG write up, from a few days ago, you probably should read it. Given that three of the four facilities “spot checked” by DHS-OIG Investigators are run by The GEO Group. I also embedded a small fraction of the litigation matters, there are a lot. And I’m not exaggerating The GEO Group has a long history of prisoner and detainee abuse.
In The GEO Group Part I - I walked you through the various DOJ Indictments of numerous GEO Group Employees and their Annual Reports. I also concluded that write up with a specific mention of the various Federal Contracts. Which now brings us to The GEO Group Part II
At all relevant times I will embed open source links. For those of you who are not in DC or have a limited understanding of how Federal Contracts work, hopefully I will be able to walk you through the process and ultimately provide you with original data source. After all facts should ring much louder than disinformation and propaganda.
Step 1 - identify the target Dun & Bradstreet number and/or FEN/IEN - we’ve talked at length why my preferred route is to use “static data” these numbers are like a person’s social security number. But you have to be smart - meaning you need to make sure you’ve captured all of the Companies, otherwise you might actually miss a lot of contract awards.
Step 1a - lucky GEO and their subsidiaries are registered in FL which means accessing their Articles of Incorporation and/or mergers is oddly easy to find. One only needs to tap in to the Florida Division of Corporations Database and just like magic you can run a search and find their Articles of Incorporation.
You should know The GEO Group operates the following International Companies and it appears some of GEO’s problems here in America have followed them overseas.
🇦🇺 The GEO Group Australia - in my Part I write up I specifically pointed out that their Australia business unit saw a pretty large increase from 2017 v 2018.
provides management services at four correctional and remand centers with approximately 5,000 beds in the states of New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.
🇬🇧 The GEO Group UK - based on the Annual Report it appears that this UK Division has grown at a pretty minimal pace - but it is interesting to see that their UK Operations seem to closely mimic their American business model. Specifically the transportation and escort services,
provides correctional and detention management, prisoner transportation, court custody and escort, and other community based services for government clients in the United Kingdom. GEO UK manages the 249-bed Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre in England. Additionally, GEO’s U.K. joint venture, GEOAmey PECS Ltd., contracts with the Ministry of Justice for the provision of prison escort and custody services in England and Wales with oversight for close to 500 secure transportation vehicles and approximately 2,600 daily offender movements.
🇿🇦 South African Custodial Management again this division has grown but not as fast as GEO’s Australian section - but based a minimal research it appears this facility also has its share of prisoner abuse and neglect:
secure correctional management services for the Department of Correctional Services and has played an integral role in helping the South African government meet its correctional needs. South African Custodial Management operates the 3,024-bed Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre.
And as antiquated as this sounds, when I’m researching a large organization like GEO Group I always drill down on their Career Page. Taking this unusual research step, actually enables you to determine if you have inadvertently missed a company or division. It’s also a way to see what locations are looking to hire and what job vacancies they have. And sometimes if you’re really paying attention you can figure out if there’s been a Contract Modification or Change Order or Contract Amendment. There is a very specific reason I’m bringing these GEO Group companies to your attention - it will make sense when I walk you through GEO Group’s lobbying.
Abraxas - which exclusively caters to troubled youth. I should tell you this particular program has had a lot of problems with former staffers. You wouldn’t know because it appears only the Local Media in Lancaster & Beck Counties reported the abuse and sexual assaults. I believe the AP did pick up the story once the employee was sentenced to multiple years in prison. But beyond that not much National News Coverage. Should an actual reporter be curious, I’d recommend that you pull up the various CPS and DFS Reports.
Before we dive in the very deep end of the DC - Thunderdome Swamp, it would be a good time to remind you about GEO Group’s PAC (in 2017, 2018 & 2019 I created multiple Twitter Threads - you know the rest of that predictable story so there’s no need to rehash it.
THE GEO GROUP, INC.
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
FEC ID # C00382150
Again the timeframe I selected may not seem important but there’s a reason I started with a base line of the 2013/2014 election cycle. When it comes to Fed Contract Awards - sometimes it makes sense to look into the previous Election Cycle. What you may not know is during the end of the Calendar Year said PAC or Candidate must file a year end Statement.
2013/2014 Election Cycle - GEO PAC
This link will take you to GEO PAC’s Annual FEC Statement, they closed the 2013 year with $226,438.50 cash on hand. This is important because you’ll note their 2014 Report shows GEO PAC gave more then they raised.
I also want you to lock in the 2013 Total Disbursements: $172,390.00 - it will put the rest of their FEC filings and disbursements in to better context.
The GEO PAC “amended” 2014 Annual FEC Report, which discloses slightly over $41K in donations to their PAC. Conversely GEO - PAC’s disbursements. From a trend analysis I think you could make a pretty convincing argument that the GEO - PAC was building a pretty aggressive political war chest. This is actually affirmed in the 2015/2016 thru 2019/2020 FEC Reports.
cash raised $495,704.99
2013/2014 disbursements $518,390.00
2015/2016 Election Cycle GEO - PAC
In the 2015 fiscal year GEO PAC ended the year with slightly over half-a-million cash on hand. The 2016 fiscal year the GEO - PAC they closed out with almost one million cash on hand - or more precisely >$963K
See the numbers in the black box? Put a pin in that, given it is the cash on hand GEO - PAC had available going into the 2017/2018 election cycle. As you can see the numbers do not lie, GEO - PAC went for broke in the 2015/2016 election cycle. Trust me on this, when I walk you through the Federal Contracts awarded circa 2016 to present you’ll see the straight line of: donate and lobby and then watch your Return on Investment come to fruition. Notice the significant uptick in both funds raised and disbursements?
cash raised $966,359.23
2015/2016 disbursements $1,097,077.12
To further add to my assertion that GEO - PAC is hyper partisan a simple look at the PAC’s 2015/2016 disbursements affirm my assertion. By a margin on $600K to Republicans versus a mere $100K+ to Democrats...I think we can stop pretending that the GEO PAC is heavily tipped towards republicans. Do you think Trump knows that the GEO Group via their PAC was one of the “Never Trump” participants? That the GEO Group’s PAC heavily donated to Rubio:
At this point I would recommend you take a break from reading this entry because what I’m about explain is likely to make your head hurt, a lot. Because by the third time I read the FEC filings, my own head started to hurt. One thing you should take note of - the amount of refunds, voided checks and stop payments which appears pervasive in GEO PAC’s FEC reports.
Cash Raised: $976,797.14
2017/2018 Disbursements - $952,292.24
Like I said the disbursements of GEO PAC has some “interesting” donations, lost checks, voided payments. What is slightly unusual is there doesn’t appear to be a pattern, meaning it’s largely indiscriminate - conversely it’s weird that GEO PAC issued a check to George Bush’s presidential campaign and later stopped payment.
As far as 2019/2020 Election Cycle, this is about as “fresh” as you can get. GEO PAC filed on June 5, 2019 and as you can see their PAC “war chest” had been drawn down considerably.
This link will take you to GEO PAC’s entire disbursement Filings - circa 2003 to present. As previously indicated they gave drawn down the PAC funds considerably when compared to the past three election cycles. Below is a screen capture of thei June 5, 2019 Report:
Geo Group Lobbying
Now that we’ve covered the FEC donations - it’s now time to itemize The GEO Group lobbying efforts in both the House and Senate. Based a the queries of the House LDA Database and the Senate LDA Database - it is pretty clear The GEO Group has some deep pockets. The last time they (as in their own corporation) lobbied on their own behalf - House ID: 377540000 - they did not register with the Senate, therefore they do not have a Senate ID for 2005, but did register in 2006 - Senate ID: 300594-12
2005 - House Annual Lobbying Report $260,000.00
2006 - House Mid-Year Report $260,000.00
And when I say deep pockets below is an abbreviated list of Lobbyists and/or Firms The GEO Group hired:
Mr. Lionel "Leo" Aguirre - circa House ID: 400850000 and Senate ID: 40028244-12 He’s been on The GEO Group payroll since 2008. There are 50+ LDA filings 4 reports per year. The approximate largesse >$1.6M - I literally pulled down his data, which translates to 50+ House LDA filings.
BALLARD PARTNERS - registered February 1, 2017 House ID: 434770003 and Senate ID: 401104288. In the less than two years The GEO Group has paid Ballard Partners $1,300,000.00 in lobbying. Unsurprisingly the lobbying was Immigration, ICE, BOP, DOJ and other various “federal contracts” - this is why if you’re going to research a Company you must review all public databases. Because FEC donations are literally only a fraction of the data.
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP - registered August 26, 2016 - House ID: 305900071 and Senate ID: 36914 nor should it surprise you that this firmly lobbied on behalf of The GEO Group, but it’s the DOT meetings that have me slightly concerned. Because after spending a few weekends reading the past decade of The GEO Group’s Annual Report - you do understand that GEO is probably moving towards transportation logistics both in the Air and Roadways. That should give you serious pause.
Bryant Cave, LLC: This appears to be a very limited lobbying effort, given there’s only one lobbying Report
Capitol Counsel, LLC - registered on August 1, 2016. House ID: 393840213 and Senate ID 313715. What I found interesting is GEO started lobbying for Taxes, specifically REIT taxes in Q3 2016 and then ramped up in 2017 to present.
GEO's lobbying activities focus on promoting the benefits of public-private partnerships in the delivery of secure residential care in correctional and detention facilities; community reentry and supervision programs; and electronic and location monitoring services, as well as the provision of evidence-based rehabilitation, both in-custody and post-release, through the "GEO Continuum of Care." Tax treatment of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
Once the GOP Tax scam was signed in to law- the GEO Group dropped that lobbying and strictly focused their Public-Private Partnership:
DA VINCI GROUP: House ID 331680041 and Senate ID: 11548-544 this particular lobbying venture is a tad bit odd. The GEO Group paid DA VINCI less than $5,000.00 per quarter. The well known DC-Lobbying Secret is it’s a cash cow, you feast or you are eaten and it can be a total feast or famine situation at the whim of your client. But this firm’s only focus: “Monitoring and advising client on Judiciary-related bills, crime, CJS - Appropriations.“ -
Do not be fooled DA VINCI Group has a vast portfolio of clients and has three decades in DC lobbying, see their Senate Report 1999 thru 2019 if you’re not familiar with DC or how Lobbying works then here’s a quick lesson - look at other entities said firm is lobbying on behalf of. Lobbying isn’t bad, in my industry it’s the hot fudge on a sundae. Lobbying in its most basic form is “paying” for connections, trading information and then leveraging that inform for the best interest of your client - all about the profitability and scoring new IDIQ contracts.
In less then 10 seconds I could see a direct line - in the context of “vertical” mergers and GEO Group’s long term business model. In order to feast on the DC Swamp you as a company need to expand your business portfolio to put more tentacles into the swamp. What you see in DA Vinci Group’s filing is a merger of Pharma, Prisons and “continuum of care” that GEO Group disclosed to shareholders in late 2014. But again if you didn’t take the time to read the reports, then when you query the Lobbying Databases you wouldn’t know what to look for.
Navigators Global LLC (Formerly DC Navigators, LLC) - registered with the House in 2011 House ID: 36488 and Senate ID: 85071 of the baseball team that GEO Group has fielded Navigators Global LLC is their main gladiator. A conservative estimate of how much GEO has paid Navigators 2011 to present is well over $4.6million
From Q3 2016 to Present GEO Group paid Navigators $90,000.00 per quarter for 12 quarters = $1,080,000.00 for:
President's Budget Request -- issues related to alternatives to detention within ICE FY'16
DHS Appropriations Act --issues related to alternatives to detention within ICE FY'16
Issues exclusively related to alternatives to detention within ICE
Which also coincidentally corresponds with their uptick in Federal Contracts, especially after Trump “took the oath” I’m sure that’s just a random coincidence. Or more accurately the GEO Group is an actual Case Study of what is wrong with DC and how unethical the Trump Administration and Republican Members of Congress are.
Case in point notice the slight deviation in their Q1 2017 Lobbying Disclosures for the record this remained the same for Q2 to Q4 2017. Where they added the following:
President's Budget Request - issues relating to alternatives to detention within ICE FY 17
DHS Appropriations Act - issues related to alternatives to detention within ICE FY 17
Additionally, issues related to the education and promotion of the benefits in the use of public-private partnerships for the delivery of secure residential care, community reentry and supervision, offender rehabilitation, and location monitoring services.
Which is further confirmed in their Q1 2018 Lobbying Disclosures - this is when the GEO Group went “all in” and invested in their future,
President's Budget Request - issues relating to alternatives to detention within ICE
FY 18 DHS Appropriations Act - issues related to alternatives to detention within ICE FY 18
FY 19 DHS Appropriations - issues related to alternatives to detention within ICE FY 19
Additionally, issues related to the education and promotion of the benefits in the use of public-private partnerships for the delivery of secure residential care, community reentry and supervision, offender rehabilitation, and location monitoring services
GEOs political and governmental relations activities focus on promoting the use of public-private partnerships in the delivery of correctional services including evidence-based rehabilitation programs, both in-custody and post-release, aimed at reducing recidivism and helping the men and women in our care successfully reintegrate into their communities. GEO does not take a position on or advocate for or against criminal justice policy related to criminalizing certain behaviors or determining the length of criminal sentences. Furthermore, GEO does not take a position on, nor advocate for or against, immigration enforcement policies such as the basis or length of an individuals detention.
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If I were a reporter, I would send FOIA requests to each member of Congress, DHS, ICE, the White House and their Contracting Offices - what you want to look for are any communications that could be construed as improper. Meaning what you are looking for: timing and context of all communications with the GEO Group and their lobbyist.
Furthermore it might be advantageous to contact the DHS-OIG and/or GAO to launch an investigation. The main point is all companies can lawfully engage in lobbying. It’s how DC (unfortunately works) the point is there’s some “there there”. What you need to know is based on the ROE (Rules of engagement) once the Government Solicitation via Contract, SOW etc are publicly announced the only permissible communications are strictly limited to (and this is specfic DC jargon) “ongoing awarded work”. Therefore any cozy relationship between GEO and/or GEO’s Lobbyist must cease otherwise other vendors can file a formal “grievance” alleging GEO improperly influenced contract awards.
Also any BOP contracts it would be the DOJ-OIG, whereas any DHS or subordinate agency like ICE or CBP would strictly be under the jurisdiction of both Congress and DHS-OIG and GAO - but typically the GAO can only act when Congress officially ask them to.
Further if I were a reporter I’d also ask the White House for Visitor Logs June 2017 to April 2019 - I personally know of two occasions that GEO Group Executives met with Jared Kushner during their “Prison Reform” Discussions, Although I’m also told there are encrypted communications between Kushner and GEO and at least two of GEO’s lobbyist.
The Senate LDA Database is actually far easier to maneuver than the House. Plus the Senate database allows for saved URL searches. See The GEO Group - Senate lobbying. For those of you not in DC - you may not know what “sub-lobbying” is - it’s when a Corporation hires one law firm to “lobby” but said law firm “subcontracts” to another lobbying firm. I am a creature of DC and in my industry seeing this kind of overt obfuscation is - well...it is disappointing and it’s a loophole that Congress should close by enacting legislation.
Case in point: There are only a handful of reasons a Special Interest Group or in this a Behemoth Private Prison Company would engage in “sub-lobbying”. On December 1, 2017 STATE FEDERAL STRATEGIES registered. As you can see in Section #7 Client: The GEO Group was/is the client of record.
Also don’t be -that- person on the Internet or Twitter and intentionally dox a lobbyist, take the time to redact their PII - only losers dox people.
Again I’m going to point out Section 7 - Client and Section 9 - where the registrant must discloses what is the purpose of the lobbying. Section 9 states - with all due respect GEO Group would be one of the very last organization that our tax dollars should fund with respect to providing mental health services to various agencies.
Correctional and detention management; mental health services to government agencies (emphasis added)
Promoting the benefits of public-private partnership in the delivery of secure residential care in correctional and detention facilities: community reentry and supervision programs: and electronic and location monitoring services, as well as the providing of evidence-based rehabilitation, both in-custody and post-release, through the Geo continuum of care.
I am also going to point out that a few days ago I embedded several DOJ Indictments of nearly a dozen GEO employees who: engaged in sexual misconduct, the real life horror youth center at Walnut Grove, of which GEO closed down that facility. Prison Guards attempting to smuggle in drugs for prisoners. GEO nurse conspiring to cover up an impermissible sexual relationship, sex abuse of minors.
And not the least of which the TWO DHS-OIG REPORTS this past week. Literally not a single media report about the DHS-OIG May 30, 2019. It is scathing and I’m flummoxed why it’s being ignored. See report DHS-OIG Report 19-46 Overcrowding Among Single Adults at El Paso Del Norte Processing Center. I suppose Detainees being held at >700% over capacity isn’t newsworthy? Or that because ICE, CBP and DHS Guards are at high risk because of the Guard to Detainee ration. Or having so many detainees stuffed in to a cell that it’s standing room only or the serious public health risk this presents for the Guards and other staffers.
GEO Group 2014 to present Contracts
At all relevant times I will embed the contract, which will almost exclusively be via the USAspending.gov which is the official (one of many) Central Databases for Federal Contracts, total contract value (TCV), terms of contract aka T&M (time and materials) or FFP (firm fixed price) - if the file is too large, I will denote if it’s a zipped file.
2014/2015 Contract Award - parent # HSCEDM10D00001
Award ID - HSCEDM14J00001
Agency & Subagency - DHS via ICE
TCV - $55,931,490.
In 2014/2015 GEO Group was awarded 13 separate contracts with a TCV of: $151M - see query here.
2016 Total Contract Awards to GEO Group = 14 individual contracts
Award ID HSCEDM15J00024
TCV = $29,419,118
Parent Award ID HSCEDM15D00006 - Agency DHS & Sub-Agency ICE
Award ID HSCEDM15J00003
TCV = $23,915,076.00
Parent Award ID HSCEDM15D00006 Agency DHS sub-Agency ICE - location Washington State ICE Detention Facility
For reference, see Report for Fiscal Year 2016. In sum total GEO Group received 14 separate contract awards, nearly 100% for ICE Detention Centers, equating to just under $70M.
See Report for Fiscal Year 2017 - what you should know is USASpending captures all actions. So while the “reportable” number states 65 - the reality is you need to drill down on each contract and you’ll note there are a lot of administrative actions such as closing a contract out or “de-obligation” of funds.
Further if you drill down on GEO Group’s 2018 contracts you can see that nearly $200Million in contracts were awarded shortly before and after Trump’s Prison Reform push.
This is the 2019 Contract award Report for GEO Group Again you have to drill down on each contract because there are dozens of instances where the Agency and/or subAgency obligates and un-obligates and then re-obligates those funds. Meaning those funds from previous Fiscal Years can and do roll into the current fiscal year. As some of you know a much simpler way to explain how federal funds “use it or lose it” but a known DC work around is you obligated and then un-obligate thus making the funds roll in. Or more precisely set aside those funds. The only caveat to aforementioned contract funds are IDIQ contracts - which are sweet deals for Federal Contractors. Why? Well IDIQ is an acronym for Indefinite Duration Indefinite Quantity.
In the coming days I’ll push the Part III which is me triple checking contracts of GEO Group’s subsidiaries. But for now I’m going to set that aside given this was somewhat of a large data/file endeavor. And lastly none of this should surprise you, when I was allowed on Twitter I created countless threads about why Trump reversing Obama’s ban on private prison was one of Trump’s most corrupt acts as “president” and here we are two years later. Where the various alarms that were sounded by myself and others in the legal community has in fact come fruition.
ps - I told you so, I specifically said this should concern ALL of us - but nope those threads and research are gone because Twitter and Trolls. It is fascinating to see how previous predictions have in fact materialized to cognizable injury. The pure unadulterated corruption and the Trump Administration’s Acting with impunity is, problematic. Maybe if I was a Pepe or Deplorable SpicyFiles twitter would let me back on their platform. NYET. Because it sure seems Twitter enables the worst of the worst. Until then I’ll be right here.
Although next week my schedule is off the rails crazy busy. I mean it’s arduous to eat bon-bons and brings watch TV - isn’t that what all bored housewives do. But then again bean flicking can also be time consuming. With that said, it might be until next weekend for me to drill down on the various GEO Group Contracts for their subsidiary companies. Given it’s a lot of tedious work checking and cross referencing in multiple databases but at the end of the day I’d rather have facts and original document source versus disinformation and propaganda and everyone has an opinion - but I prefer facts because facts always (at least they should) trump opinions. Plus I have a side project where I’m pretty sure I’ve isolated a lot of dead people donating to Trump and the RNC and NRCC and NRSC - oh shittlestix I shouldn’t say that...
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