Four months after David Fender was fired as chief financial officer of Ginnie Mae for lying about being a certified public accountant and ruining the government mortgage backer’s financial records, another federal agency hired him — and the same thing happened.
Fender was fired Aug. 12, 2016, from his latest job, CFO of the Larned State Hospital, a mental facility in Kansas, a week after The Daily Caller News Foundation revealed the Ginnie Mae fiasco.
Ginnie Mae hid the scandal after Fender was fired in April 2015, so officials with the Kansas institution apparently didn’t know of his horrid track record when it hired him in August 2015. Misrepresenting his employment record is a Fender specialty.
But after TheDCNF’s articles appeared, state officials concluded that concerns about having Fender in charge of money warranted an audit by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services in tandem with his termination.
“We have no reason to believe anything is amiss, but our internal auditing unit is auditing Larned State Hospital’s financial information,” department spokeswoman Angela de Rocha told the Wichita Eagle. She did not respond to TheDCNF’s questions about Larned’s hiring and vetting process.
The Larned position is at least the third job Fender has lost in recent years. When Fender applied to Ginnie Mae, background checkers talked to his previous boss, who said he was fired because he “did not sell to meet quota, nor was he accountable to his whereabouts. Travel often not approved or not reported. We had a suspicion that he was working for another company while employed by us.”
Ginnie Mae hired him anyway, even though it also knew he’d lied about the firing. A Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General’s report noted that even if Fender received a positive reference, a salesman in Japan with no experience managing government finances was an absurd choice for the vice presidency and CFO slot of an institution backing $1.5 trillion in mortgages.
Ginnie Mae spent millions of dollars during Fender’s tenure there on a public relations contract to instill “confidence that Ginnie Mae’s top leaders are capable and knowledgeable and can make financial decisions.”
Fender’s misrepresentations go beyond his most recent jobs, involving decades of failed and suspect international business deals. He ran a government contracting business while at Ginnie Mae, which he’d also done in his prior job. He has also taught college courses on how to commit fraud and on criminal psychology.
Fender did not return calls on Friday.
A former Larned State Hospital employee told TheDCNF that “many people here are wondering how none of what you mentioned in your article came in when they ran his background check. The policy was to call at least two of the three personal references listed. Not necessarily the previous employers. At least one of the references was supposed to be former supervisor.”
Ginnie Mae spokeswoman Gina Screen said it was never contacted by Larned concerning Fender.
The former Larned employee said Fender “was a good BSer. I know [hospital] budget issues got worse after he got there. In fact, the state is auditing the financials, and they didn’t do that after they let the previous two CFO’s go. So that says the state is concerned.”
He said the fact that Fender was seeking a $60,000 a year job when he had just been making $175,000 at Ginnie Mae should have made it obvious that he was running from something.
Since TheDCNF broke the story about Fender, other individuals have come forward claiming he tried to scam them in schemes involving exporting metal tanks abroad. They said he sought to meet with them between hospital appointments.
They also said they questioned why someone with no relevant background wanted to ship enormous and relatively simple metal tanks across the ocean to Japan, a manufacturing powerhouse. Fender has said he had people lobby the Japanese government to give him business to restore a nuclear disaster site.
The Eagle reported:
The hospital’s superintendent sent an e-mail to staff Monday saying that David Fender, who was hired as chief financial officer last year, ‘is no longer employed by Larned State Hospital….’
An e-mail announcing Fender’s hiring in August 2015… said Fender worked for 30 years in Asia managing subsidiaries of Nestle, Chanel and other major companies. It also said he played a role in helping Japan contain radioactive material after a tsunami caused a meltdown at a nuclear facility in Fukushima in 2011.
‘Most recently he was appointed by the Obama Administration as the chief financial officer of Ginnie Mae.”
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