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Hundreds of stimulus recipients haven't reported on money's whereabouts

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 10:34 a.m. ET

An anti-hunger nonprofit based in the District, Queen Anne's County in Maryland and a Virginia dredging company are among 389 recipients of federal stimulus dollars that have failed to report on the whereabouts of more than $55 million in economic stimulus funding, federal watchdogs said Thursday.

The total amounts to less than 2 percent of all stimulus recipients and a mere fraction of the roughly $200 billion so far awarded by the recovery program, but the federal Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board has committed to tracking down every last taxpayer dollar spent on the program.

"The two-time losers -- those who failed to file reports in the last quarter of 2009 and the earlier reporting period -- should really be embarrassed," Recovery Board Board Chairman Earl Devaney said in a statement. "They took millions of dollars and then thumbed their noses at taxpayers."

In the District, the anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength received $87,283 from the Corporation for National and Community Service last May, according to the Recovery Board. Queen Anne's County received a Justice Department grant totaling $35,009 in July. Records indicate Virginia-based Veterans Couriers Inc. has failed to provide information on the $1.6 million contract it received in August from the Defense Department.

CNCS terminated the Share Our Strength grant because it failed to submit its reports, said group spokeswoman Margie Glennon. Share Our Strength did however receive $2,403 from the grant, she said.

"The issue here was that the recovery grant had additional reporting which we weren't familiar with, and we just failed to learn it quickly enough," Glennon said.

"We regret that, after having successfully implemented AmeriCorps programs for the last nine years, this breakdown occurred," she added.

Milton Hazzard, owner of Veterans Couriers, said Thursday evening that his company used the Pentagon contract to build a new roof for the D.C. Armory. But he said his company turned in quarterly spending reports in December and January. The first report was late after his employees struggled with the technical details of the complex reports, he said. Employees submitted the second report on time in January. Recovery Board records, however, indicate otherwise.

The nonpartisan Recovery Board serves as the stimulus enforcement office while the Obama administration -- normally in the form of Vice President Biden and other economic aides -- acts as stimulus spin doctor. Devaney's office posts stimulus spending reports on Recovery.gov after it receives the information from the Office of Management and Budget, which compiles and reviews the information each quarter. The board is also investigating dozens of waste, fraud and abuse allegations connected to stimulus dollars.

But Devaney's efforts lack teeth, because recipients who fail to submit spending reports do not face penalties. Congress failed to include punishments for non-reporters when it approved the stimulus program last year. Some federal agencies, however, may soon find a way to impose fines or other penalties, Devaney said.

Here's a look at stimulus recipients that have failed to report spending information from the District, Maryland and Virginia. Full information on non-reporters, as provided by the Recovery Board in pdf format, can be seen here.

Stimulus Recipients That Have Failed to Report Spending Data:

Recipient Name Award Amount Agency Awarding the Funds State
Share Our Strength Operation Frontline $87,283 Corporation for National and Community Service D.C.
Medix Inc. $26,196 Education Dept. Maryland
Volvo Road Machinery Inc. $63,670 Veterans Affairs MD
Queen Anne's County $35,009 Justice Department MD
Veterans Couriers Inc. $1,696,701 Defense Department VA
Town of LaCrosse $105,065 Justice Department VA
Center for Remote Sensing Inc. $119,669 National Science Foundation VA
National Safe Boating Council $3,436 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers VA
Norfolk Dredging Company $136,200 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers VA
WP Construction Service $1,203 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers VA
Centuria Corporation $87,760 Agriculture Dept. VA
Eyak Technologies $656,000 Dept. of Homeland Security VA

SOURCE: Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 26, 2010; 9:42 AM ET
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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Comments

Share Our Strength did not receive $87,283 from the Corporation for National and Community Service. We received only $2400, and the grant was terminated so the system worked. We hold ourselves accountable and are taking measures to ensure that this never happens again.

Margie Flemming Glennon
Communications Director
Share Our Strength

Posted by: mglennon | February 26, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Those who did report lied in their reports or couldn't comprehend the forms, declaring jobs created in districts that don't exist, declaring one job saved per pair of boots sold. The investigation of this fraud of a bill would probably employ more people than the bill actually did.

Posted by: fireball72 | February 28, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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