Alameda County: Court records show security firm used fake documents to obtain lucrative deal
By Thomas Peele and Matt O’Brien
The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Years after the 2007 demise of Your Black Muslim Bakery amid charges ranging from fraud to murder, members of a spinoff group used fake documents to win a lucrative security contract from Alameda County only to have one of the firm’s guards severely beat a man within hours of the deal taking effect.
The company, BMT International Security Services, received a $426,000 government contract to guard public buildings in January 2012 after submitting bogus insurance records and security company licenses to county officials, according to court documents and state records. County supervisors canceled the contract nearly a year later after BMT had been paid more than $113,000.
It is not clear why the county did not more closely examine BMT before awarding it the contract over more than a dozen competing firms. County officials refused to answer questions this week about how they vetted the firm.
The contract was rescinded when officials discovered BMT “failed to maintain required insurance coverage,” said Pedro Valencia, who directs contract procurement for the Alameda County General Services Agency. He declined to say more, citing a lawsuit brought by the victim of the beating, which accuses the county of negligence in hiring BMT.
BMT has since sought other contracts, winning a $450,000 job late last year to patrol part of the shoreline surrounding the Port of Oakland for three years and working for Habitat for Humanity to provide security at an East Oakland construction site when former President Jimmy Carter visited there last fall. It could not be learned what sort of documentation BMT supplied for those jobs. Officials at Secret Service in Washington, D.C., Thursday could not say whether BMT guards went through background checks.
BMT is also fighting for a $2 million contract to guard Oakland City Hall and other city property, and the City Council is divided on whether to keep its existing contractor or split the work between BMT and another firm. A vote is expected Tuesday.
Documents that accompanied BMT’s original bid for the Alameda County contract were obviously fraudulent, said a lawyer representing Robert Chamberlin, the San Leandro man injured by the BMT guard.
A Texas man who BMT claimed sold it an insurance policy explained to Alameda County lawyers in late 2012 that the policy was a fraud and its endorsement was “not my signature,” according to county records. Questioned about the discrepancy by the county, BMT’s owner, Rory Parker, wrote back that “we as a company are victims of fraud” by someone who posed as an insurance broker.
But insurance was not the only problem.
The state security license submitted to the county contains Parker’s name, but the license number is for a Los Angeles company whose license was revoked in 2012 after its owner was charged with possessing assault weapons, state officials confirmed to the Bay Area News Group.
Parker, who runs the company from a Black Muslim temple in northwest Oakland called Elijah’s University, declined through an assistant to comment this week. She is acting as her own attorney. Her son, Dahood Sharieff Bey, a longtime Your Black Muslim Bakery associate also known as Cyrano Colar, is the new temple’s captain, or leader, according to criminal court records.
The man who emails show was BMT’s main contact with the county, Basheer Fard Muhammad, also known as Benjamin Jones, is also a former bakery associate, according to criminal court records. He and Dahood Bey were tried together for torture in 2010, eventually pleading guilty to lesser charges after the jury could not reach a verdict.
Chamberlin’s suit alleges that the county’s negligence in hiring BMT exposed him to danger, saying the government “intentionally and recklessly hired” workers “with a propensity for violence.” In an interview, his attorney Richard Brown said the county offered to settle the case for $30,000, which his client rejected.
“We want more than $30,000; we want justice and we want the truth,” he said. “There is scarce enough taxpayer money without (the county) doling it out to criminals.”
A key hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.
The business called Your Black Muslim Bakery was a cultish group that billed itself as an advocate for African-American self help but that prosecutors have said was a front for far-ranging criminal enterprises, from campaign finance and welfare fraud to extortion, kidnapping and murder. Security-guard firms were a key financial arm of the organization. Its founder, Yusuf Bey, died in 2004 while awaiting trial on charges of rape.
The bakery collapsed after Bey’s then-21-year-old son, Yusuf Bey IV, ordered the killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in 2007. He was convicted of triple murder and is serving a life sentence with no parole. He has appealed.
Dahood Bey was a top disciple of the elder Yusuf Bey who, like many of his “spiritually adopted sons,” took his last name, according to criminal court records. Around the time of the bakery’s demise, Dahood Bey and a handful of other former bakery members migrated to the temple on 27th Street. BMT officially began work from that building for Alameda County on April 16, 2012, assigned to patrol a public works office in Hayward and two wastewater treatment plants near Livermore.
Then, at 2 a.m. the next day, one of its guards, James E. Lewis, got into a confrontation with Chamberlin outside the Hayward building, court records and a police report show. Chamberlin worked for another security company whose contract with the county was expiring, and he apparently went to check on the same building. Hayward police arrived after Chamberlin called 911 saying he was being attacked.
Lewis told police that he had been suspicious of Chamberlin, who wore dark clothing. Both insisted the other started the fight. Chamberlin was hit in the head with a flashlight and needed more than 30 stitches. Neither was charged.
There is no listing for Lewis in the state’s Bureau of Security and Investigative Services records for licensed security guards. It also appears BMT is not properly licensed.
In addition to the discrepancies surrounding the licensing document Parker furnished Alameda County, which appears to have belonged to a defunct Torrance firm known as International Services, records of the state Bureau of Security and Investigative Services show BMT is registered not to Parker but to Patrick Charles, a former Oakland police officer, listing a Richmond address. Charles could not be reached. A spokeswoman for the state bureau declined to comment.
Parker has been accused of fraud before. The state stripped her license to run a child care facility in Contra Costa County in 2009. According to an administrative law judge’s ruling, Parker accepted subsidies from a nonprofit agency to provide child care in El Sobrante, near Richmond, but state investigators found no services were provided there. Instead, children were sometimes taken to Elijah’s University in Oakland, which was not a licensed child care facility.