Work Credit Was Used By Pentagon Employees In An Attempt To Gamble With Taxpayer Money

It should come as no surprise that government employees enjoy pthe arty

One need only look at the numerous controversies that have involved the Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Even the Pentagon is getting in on the activity, as evidenced by the fact that its personnel is now using government travel cards at strip clubs and casinos.

According to a report compiled by the Pentagon’s inspector general, not only did employees of the Defense Department misuse their work credit cards, but the research also showed that their superiors failed to take necessary action after uncovering the misconduct committed by their colleagues. The study was a follow-up audit of a prior report, which found that the military racked up 5,000 charges at casinos and strip clubs totaling more than $1 million over a year. The total amount of these charges was revealed throughout the investigation.

According to the report, which was 90 pages long, the Department of Defense administration “did not take necessary action when told that cardholders potentially exploited their travel card at casinos and adult entertainment facilities.” “More specifically, DoD management and travel card officials did not complete adequate reviews for the cardholders that were assessed, nor did they take any measures to eliminate additional misuse,” Agency program coordinators, also known as APCs, “did not always report misuse to DoD management for action,” according to the passage.

The inspector general “nonstatistically” selected 30 Pentagon cardholders for the audit because, according to the findings of the last investigation, these cardholders had the “largest dollar amount of high-risk transactions.” This included seven cardholders who had been cited as examples in the earlier audit, four cardholders who had used their travel cards at strip clubs to charge charges of $1,000 or more, and 19 cardholders who had used their cards at casinos at ATMs or for “quasi-cash transactions.”

The report went into extensive detail regarding the precise infractions committed by 13 individuals, three of whom were found to have committed multiple types of infractions. Some of the example behavior appears to have been employees trying to see what they could get away with, such as the Air Force civilian, identified as Cardholder 3, who sought and received direct reimbursement of $59 for using his travel card at a casino. This behavior is an example of what appears to be employees trying to see what they can get away with. This same employee used his card for seven casino purchases totaling $1,565; yet, he was not reprimanded because his supervisor misconstrued the employee’s labor agreement.

Other actions, on the other hand, were a great deal more offensive

The worst case presented in the report was Cardholder 22, a civilian employee of the Navy who “misused [the] travel card for years, and the degree of the misuse went unnoticed.” This person’s transaction history revealed 274 transactions with a combined total of $31,732 that took place “at casinos and card use while the cardholder was not on travel orders.” Of these, 29 transactions with a combined total of nearly $3,500 took place after the inspector general notified the command in December 2014 of the potential for personal use.

Cardholder 22 also submitted claims on various vouchers for reimbursement that did not take place, which resulted in an overpayment of $2,802 over two years. This Navy civilian retired on November 30, 2015, without any attempts being made by the government to collect the overpayments, less than a month after an authorized officer verified unlawful payments.

Cardholder 14, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, carried out 89 high-risk casino transactions with a combined amount of more than $14,000. Even though the inspector general found evidence of possible misuse in December 2014, it took the commander more than a year to confer with the lawyers at the Pentagon and issue a letter of counseling for the cardholder.

¬†In addition to this, the commander “strongly suggested that the cardholder seek the advice of a mental health professional regarding any probable gambling addiction.” Despite this, the travel card continued to have a higher-than-average cash advance limit of $1,000 in December 2015, in comparison to the average limit of $665. This restriction has been temporarily lowered, but it is scheduled to return to its original value at the beginning of the next year.

Cardholder 19, an Air Force civilian who had previously served as a reservist, made 371 transactions at casinos totaling more than $32,000. Because the information was not passed between supervisors, Cardholder 19 was able to commit these transactions under the supervision of three different commands. 

After it was determined that he had been misusing sensitive material while serving as a civilian at his third command, his access to classified information was temporarily revoked. As a response, he stated that he had not been properly trained on the use of travel cards and that he had severe financial difficulties, so he used the card to avoid “starving to death, becoming homeless, or being stranded in the desert due to no gas.” He added that he had not been properly trained on the use of travel cards because he had severe financial difficulties.

Cardholder 19 was ultimately handed a seven-day suspension, directed financial counseling, and a letter of reprimand as a result of this incident. When he moved to a new command in February, the earlier offenses he had committed or the sanctions he had received were not disclosed to his new superiors. 

“Citibank declined the application and indicated the cardholder was not eligible at any time for reinstatement,” which was the response they received when they attempted to reactivate the travel card.

The misuse of the travel cards was attributed to officials working for the Defense Travel Management Office as well as managers working for the Pentagon. These managers could be commanding officers or civilian supervisors. According to the inspector general, these individuals “did not emphasize the roper use of the travel card, and DoD policy did not sufficiently specify what actions DoD officials should take when misuse was identified.” According to the findings of the report, the Department of Defense administration had only reported security problems for two of the thirty cardholders before the audit.

The investigation was carried out in response to inquiries that were posed by the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

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