"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Monday, October 15, 2012

Stimulus Fraud and Misuse Cases Piling Up




So how's that stimulus money working out? I mean sure it seemed to have increased unemployment beyond the level that the Obama Administration said doing would-- but what about the nearly $1 trillion? Well, let's take a look...

From The Washington Guardian article by John Solomon:

"The government’s chief spending watchdogs have already secured nearly 600 convictions and judgments against people and companies accused of misusing stimulus funds and have a whopping 1,900 investigations currently open into possible wrongdoing, officials say.

"The wave of scrutiny more than three years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress early in the Obama administration means the question of how money was managed early in the program is certain to extend well into the next year as many of the current investigations come to conclusion.

[...]

"For instance, the Energy Department inspector general reported last week it discovered the California energy commission collected two duplicate payments under a stimulus program that costs taxpayers $678,000 and and it recommended the money be repaid.

"The Health and Human Services inspector general reported recently that a Louisiana group that received stimulus funds for Head Start programs for children had inappropriately spent nearly $1.2 million in federal funds to construct a new building that wasn’t approved by federal officials. The group is contesting the finding.

"The Energy Department inspector general also warns in its most recent semiannual report that the Western Area Power Administration, which received $3.25 billion in borrowing authority to help build transmission lines under the stimulus law, is at risk of losing significant money on a transmission project for wind power in Montana that it funded.

"'WAPA has significant financial exposure on the project ... encountering significant delays and cost overruns,' the IG warned.

"And a former superintendent of a Montana construction company was charged last month with making false statements regarding the quality of work his firm performed on federal bridge project in Idaho that was funded with $21.6 million in stimulus money. The company used 'nonconforming anchor bolts' for parts of the construction, and tried to conceal it. The bolts had to be fixed, delaying the project.

"The Recovery Board’s blog last month hinted at the scope of some of the alleged fraud currently being investigated by inspectors general at various agencies. "The 29 IGs with Recovery oversight responsibility have more than 1,900 investigations under way; convictions and judgments total 598," it noted.

"Many of the problems were uncovered by a special group of analysts charged specifically to look for irregularities in the massive stimulus program.

"For instance, the analysts discovered that veterans seeking stimulus related benefits had claimed more than 16,000 dependents with Social Security numbers matching those of dead people, the blog noted

"Separately, the same analysts found ore than 150 potential shell companies may have improperly received Recovery funds set aside for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program.

"And the analysts had identified more than 400 Recovery Act recipients of funds from 15 federal agencies had previously been terminated for default, most getting the money after falsely certifying they had not been terminated for default."

Misuse of an obscene amount of federal pork money? Who would've thunk it? Certainly not the Obama Administration...

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