ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - 9 Investigates is looking into questionable financial records submitted by the man in charge of keeping track of Orange County's properties.
Three days ago, Channel 9 started asking questions after finding some of Rick Singh's latest financial disclosures didn't add up. The find comes seven months after Singh was fined by the Florida Ethics Commission.
Channel 9 was the first to uncover that Singh may have inflated his net worth when he was running for office, but new public documents appear to show he
is skewing it to the other extreme.
WFTV's Kathi Belich called Singh on Wednesday afternoon about the latest records and found just hours after the phone call, Singh overnighted a new report to the state Ethics Commission in Tallahassee with major changes.
On paper, Singh has gone from appearing to inflate his net worth to now telling the state he's almost $1 million in the red.
Singh is claiming income and debt from properties he doesn't own, according to his reports and his office's website.
"My advice to politicians is if you tell the truth you don't have to change the numbers," said WFTV political analyst Rick Foglesong.
The report Singh filed in September, the last day before he'd be fined, did not account for about $40,000 of his reported $90,000 income.
The property appraiser also seemed to have difficulty accounting for property his family owns.
In the report Singh filed Thursday, his reported income total was the same but he changed all of his itemized rental income figures, took one property off the list and added two completely new ones.
The property Singh took off the board Thursday was supposed to have brought in more than $10,000 in rental income last year. Singh now says one of the two properties just added brought in $60,000 of rental income in 2012.
"That leaves me scratching my head and wondering whether any of these numbers can be trusted," said Foglesong.
Channel 9 was not able to find the other new property Singh reported earning income from on his website.
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