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Monday September 1st 2014

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Auditor waiting on info from Amex to close gift card investigation

Escambia Clerk of Courts released this letter from Saltmarsh, Cleaveland and Gund to the Greater Pensacola Chamber:

Mr. Gary Huston, Treasurer
Greater Pensacola Chamber
117 West Garden Street
Pensacola, Florida 32502

The purpose of this letter is to update you on the status of our review of the gift card program administered by the Greater Pensacola Chamber (the Pensacola Chamber) during the period from August 2010 to September 2012. We have completed the first phase of the review, which included the following procedures:

 We have interviewed current and former personnel from the Pensacola Chamber, the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce (the Perdido Chamber), the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce (the Beach Chamber), the Escambia County Budget Office and the Escambia County Clerk of the Court. We have not been able to interview Brian McBroom, the former Chief Financial Officer of the Pensacola Chamber but have forwarded a list of questions to him and have not received a response.

 We have reviewed documentation for purchases of gift cards by the Pensacola Chamber and have determined that a total of $518,500 cards were purchased. Our preliminary procedures indicate that gift cards totaling $103,850 were transferred to the Perdido Chamber, and the remaining $414,650 was to be distributed by the Pensacola Chamber and the Beach Chamber.

The Pensacola Chamber has substantially completed a listing of gift cards distributed by it and the Beach Chamber, and we have begun our testing to the extent possible. However, critical information is needed from American Express to fully test the supporting documentation. At this time, this important information has not been received and it is our understanding that the attorney for the Greater Pensacola Chamber is working with American Express to resolve this matter as soon as possible. However, until this critical information is provided, we cannot provide a preliminary estimate of the amount of gift cards, if any, that are not supported by proper documentation.

We will complete the review once all necessary information has been obtained and provided to us. In the meantime, we will be glad to meet with you and discuss any questions about the gift card program.

Sincerely,
David Lister, CPA Shareholder

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