Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby Perry » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:56 am

After doing some research, I see that banks and software give people the ability to give their bookkeepers or accountants read-only access to their accounts. I'm guessing that the business clients of Ewasko did this because there would be no need to allow permission to make payments.

It looks like Turbotax does not have this feature for accountants, but in theory an accountant with client could call the IRS on speaker phone to verify profit. Obviously if the accountant filed taxes for the client, then he or she would have access to the information.

So I can't see anything that is clearly suspicious, just that the compensation is partially based on increasing profit, not completely: "We defer a portion of our program costs, activating them only when you reach the targeted net operating income for a given year, as stated in your tax returns." That's a different statement than "You make your profit or we don’t make ours." on the main page. I'm not sure how a conditional and delayed authorization of payment works. The word "activating" sounds electronic and not just an old fashioned paper check and a contract that can be enforced legally.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby Ed » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:31 am

AMS describes itself as an accounting and advisory firm. There are companies - generally asset managers of some kind - that have both their accounts and client accounts, and mingling them is a big red line, to put it mildly. You may not go to jail, if you can make restitution and excuse it as poor bookkeeping, but you can quickly lose your license to practice. It happens all the time. It happened to a property manager I had. But I don't see anything in the AMS self-description that would suggest they have control over client accounts. Reading between the lines and being cynical - which comes naturally to me - it looks like perhaps they advise clients on how to do their accounting in ways that magically creates growth in profits. But that is a different game from mismanaging client accounts which have been entrusted to you. Their willingness to defer billing suggests they badly needed clients.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby Perry » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:55 am

Thanks, Ed. At this point, I don't see a reason to believe that Ewasko faked his disappearance. The recent blog comment is just an opinion. There's also no reason to eliminate that possibility, even if the car did not move during the search. But after having looked inside boulders, I have to agree with some others that it's more likely that he took shelter from the sun and never came out. We found a small cave that was maybe 20 feet long. I also saw a narrow crevice that you can only see into from a certain angle, and someone not paying attention could easily fall into it.

Just looking at the Google satellite image (https://caltopo.com/m/3LDM), there are plenty of unsearched rocks. For example:
Smith_Water_Slopes_Unsearched_Rocks.png

unsearched_rocks_between_Quail&SWC.png
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby Perry » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:41 am

Here's what we did on Sunday. Most of the black dots are unsearched rocks that I saw on the satellite image. We were not able to search all of them due to limited time and water.
Search_Sept_23_2018.png

Sept_23_2018_Search.kml
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Sept_23_2018_Search.gpx
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The tracks have also been added to the online map: https://caltopo.com/m/3LDM
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