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How does something like this go unnoticed for 6 years?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, August 17, 2007

That was the first question that popped into my mind when I read this story:
A small South Carolina parts supplier collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to a Texas base, U.S. officials said.
What this contractor did was discover and exploit an automated Defense Department purchasing system. Bills for shipping to combat areas or U.S. bases that were labeled ``priority'' were usually paid automatically. So once they discovered they could charge just about anything for shipping and get paid, they did. For six freakin' years:
C&D's fraudulent billing started in 2000, [Cynthia] Stroot, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service's chief agent in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in an interview. ``As time went on they got more aggressive in the amounts they put in.''

The price the military paid for each item shipped rarely reached $100 and totaled just $68,000 over the six years in contrast to the $20.5 million paid for shipping, she said.

``The majority, if not all of these parts, were going to high-priority, conflict areas — that's why they got paid,'' Stroot said. If the item was earmarked ``priority,'' destined for the military in Iraq, Afghanistan or certain other locations, ``there was no oversight.''

The scheme unraveled in September after a purchasing agent noticed a bill for shipping two more 19-cent washers: $969,000. That order was rejected and a review turned up the $998,798 payment earlier that month for shipping two 19-cent washers to Fort Bliss, Texas, Stroot said.
Finally discovered (the scheme was run by twin sisters one of whom died last year), the DoD is trying to recover the money through seizing assets and selling them. The surviving sister is in custody and looking at 20 years.

Six years this went on with no oversight. Certainly not uncommon or at all unknown in the annals of government bureaucracy. And yet there is still a significant portion of the population that feels the government can handle the health care more efficiently and would willingly turn it over to them.
 
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And thus the problems with automated systems... Geeze.

I hope the remaining sister serves every moment of that 20 years. Plus I’m inclined to think she should serve 20 years for the departed sister. Talk about taking advantage of our military in harm’s way.
 
Written By: Teresa
URL: http://technicalities.mu.nu
I’m just at a loss...

I wonder why they rejected that one shipment. Did they slip up and gouge on a normal shipment?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I’m relinquishing my membership in the "Tax Me More" club.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I wish this was rare. I worked on an Air Force system that kept track of Real Property, such as buildings. In Boston, Hanscom AFB had three buildings they’d rented for over 20 years. We worked out what they paid in rent vs the value of the buildings and found that they’d paid 23% interest on the cost of building them outright.

And I looked, but the names Kennedy and Kerry didn’t appear on the lease....
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
The DOD is the most unaccountable and least efficient government agency in the entire government - because Democrats are scared of criticizing military spending, which is because republicans call them hippie peaceniks endangering America and use this to win elections.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://

 
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