13 Investigates


Audit finds LVCVA boss used airline gift cards for personal travel

Rossi Ralenkotter reimburses LVCVA $17,152
Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 26, 2018

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had to get nearly $20,000 bucks back from one of its top employees. 

Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, just reimbursed the agency $17,152. This after an internal audit revealed he used gift cards from Southwest Airlines for personal travel.  

Contact 13 obtained a summary of the report that claims as the largest airline carrier for Sin City, Southwest Airlines gave gift cards to the Authority in $50 to $200 increments.  There was never an agreement on how the gift cards should be used. 

Auditors found "...the lack of appropriate controls over the years led to a mistaken practice that these cards were available for non-LVCVA business."

The report shows, between 2012 and 2017, Ralenkotter and his relatives used cards for personal travel. And he wasn't the only one.

According to the report, Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, who serves as chairman of the LVCVA board of directors, will also reimburse nearly $700 for family travel. 

The Authority tells us their Finance Department took control of all gift cards in 2017, putting a process in place to make sure they're only used for business purposes. They also tell us Ralenkotter readily admitted using the gift cards before the new policy.

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