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Government probing thousands of stimulus complaints

By Ed O'Keefe

The Obama administration's economic recovery program has triggered more than 1,700 fraud complaints since it launched last year, according to a new report.

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and federal inspectors general are investigating 147 of those allegations and federal prosecutors have opened investigations into 43 cases, the RAT Board said in its quarterly report released Monday.

Inspectors general are also conducting more than 400 audits and inspections of recipients of economic stimulus funding.

The ratio of complaints versus investigations launched is consistent with similar statistics at federal agencies, the report said. Though details on the complaints and investigations are scarce, officials have said they resemble typical complaints of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of federal funds.

Not all of the 43 cases will result in criminal cases and most of the cases will continue under investigation for several months or years, a Recovery Board spokesman said.

Read the full report here.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 16, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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Comments

Government probing thousands of stimulus complaints! That makes one feel warm and fuzzy. I'll just send the fox out to see what the ruckus is all about in the hen-house!

Posted by: glhky1 | March 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

It's exactly this type of lack of followup & oversight that concerns me about turning healthcare over to the Gov't. Ironic --- all the broken gov programs (both parties are at fault). P.O., Soc. Sec, Medicare, Medicaid, IRS, and on and on and on. NO MORE --- nothing new to screw up until what is broken is fixed. DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE AND PROVE WHY THE TAXPAYERS SHOULD EVEN CONSIDER GOV'T IS WORTH OF MORE CONTROL OVER SOCIETY'A WELLBEING.

Posted by: BJD55 | March 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

It's exactly this type of lack of followup & oversight that concerns me about turning healthcare over to the Gov't. Ironic --- all the broken gov programs (both parties are at fault). P.O., Soc. Sec, Medicare, Medicaid, IRS, and on and on and on. NO MORE --- nothing new to screw up until what is broken is fixed. DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE AND PROVE WHY THE TAXPAYERS SHOULD EVEN CONSIDER GOV'T IS WORTH OF MORE CONTROL OVER SOCIETY'A WELLBEING.

Posted by: BJD55 | March 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Mr. O'Keefe:
You ought to take a good look at the Loan Modification Program and the swarm of fraud surrounding that process.

The American taxpayer is going to lose billions in that ill-conceived "assistance to homeowners" giveaway and both Fannie Mae are going to be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

I can give you an automatic starting point with some of my findings.

Sincerely,

Claude Gonzales
realtyeyes@hotmail.com

Posted by: loanmod1 | March 16, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Awesome, they waste trillions on the so-called stimulus and then waste millions investigating themselves. What a racket.

Posted by: corrections | March 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

So what? As with all of the other garbage and illegal moves that this administration have been doing nothing will come of it. The Dems are the most corrupt group of politicians in history. There is nothing that can be said in their defense. Some writers say everyone does it. Does that excuse this group of miscreants? Just review the record for the past year. The White House does not even comment on the allegation that the Penn. Senate seat can be purchased with the promise of a federal job. No comment means you are as guilty as can be.
The idea that there will be no vote proves that Obama and Pelosi are liers. They both claimed that there would be transparency. Well there is, and all we see is a pile of garbage

Posted by: MALBENNET | March 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So what? As with all of the other garbage and illegal moves that this administration have been doing nothing will come of it. The Dems are the most corrupt group of politicians in history. There is nothing that can be said in their defense. Some writers say everyone does it. Does that excuse this group of miscreants? Just review the record for the past year. The White House does not even comment on the allegation that the Penn. Senate seat can be purchased with the promise of a federal job. No comment means you are as guilty as can be.
The idea that there will be no vote proves that Obama and Pelosi are liers. They both claimed that there would be transparency. Well there is, and all we see is a pile of garbage

Posted by: MALBENNET | March 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So what? As with all of the other garbage and illegal moves that this administration have been doing nothing will come of it. The Dems are the most corrupt group of politicians in history. There is nothing that can be said in their defense. Some writers say everyone does it. Does that excuse this group of miscreants? Just review the record for the past year. The White House does not even comment on the allegation that the Penn. Senate seat can be purchased with the promise of a federal job. No comment means you are as guilty as can be.
The idea that there will be no vote proves that Obama and Pelosi are liers. They both claimed that there would be transparency. Well there is, and all we see is a pile of garbage

Posted by: MALBENNET | March 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing with all those billions of bucks flowing around, that only just 147 findings surfaced.
JMA Tampa

Posted by: tropedoabad | March 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

That's why I am oppose to stimulus and bailouts. Whatever it is, just like any government program. It is corrupt, a reflection of the people who run the government. Dem or GOP.

Posted by: mcaboy84 | March 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

You gotta love the spin the WaPo desperately tries to put on this. Not "Rampant Stimulus Fraud", or "Thousands of Stimulus Fraud Allegations", but "Government probing thousands of stimulus complaints". Oh of course it's those complainers again.

And anyway, "The ratio of complaints versus investigations launched is consistent with similar statistics at federal agencies, the report said. Though details on the complaints and investigations are scarce, officials have said they resemble typical complaints of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of federal funds."

So this is just typical stuff. Relax liberal WaPo readers, it's no big deal.

Posted by: Jeff08 | March 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

And the money trail of payoffs and kickbacks leads straight back to a two-bit Chicago thug known as Bribin' Barry Obama.


Posted by: Jerzy | March 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you Jeff08. It seems the headline didn't match the article. 1,700 complains for a stimulus package of billions of dollars and involves all of the states, and millions of people. I don't see what the complaint is here. They've received complaints and are investigating them. No story here.

Except of course, WaPo has decided to try to mimic the success of Fox news and invent stories where none exists. That way right wingers like Jerzy can jump on the message boards and bash our president, again and again and again.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | March 16, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The thing to remember here is that it is the American citizen and taxpayer that are the subject of these investigations and are "wasting taxpayer dollars," not the Government.

Posted by: ggilby1 | March 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Those found guilty of fraudulent felonies should be put in the same prisons as those who commit criminal acts. I believe in equal justice under the law.

Posted by: gjsamuels1 | March 16, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Well if there were any laws against rich people in this country stealing and defrauding, we could hope somebody might be prosecuted...but the laws only apply to the common people who cannot afford to buy their way out so don't get your hopes up of anyone getting in any trouble here. Not going to happen.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This whole pork program is a fraud. Doesn't stimulate anything, except for the pockets of Odumbo supporters.
Fraud is a way of life for them.
For those of you who think it's only a small number, I guess you're against Odumbo's health care takeover, since it's only about ten million Americans, roughly three percent who want to buy health insurence but can't for one reason or another.
Still, the incompetent college boy clown Odumbo wants to screw the other ninety seven percent to supposedly make things right, but we and you, know it won't.

Posted by: LarryG62 | March 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Again, I see the general public doesn't really understand how the government works. A claim of fraud doesn't actually mean that fraud exists. Inspectors general are INDEPENDENT of federal agencies. They may do an investigation and report findings--good, bad or indifferent--to the appropriate cabinet agency. Sort of like an independent prosecutor, for lack of an analogy. Which is why the RAT Board exists.

Posted by: teejackson_93 | March 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

That entire ARRA was a joke. Poorly managned and resulted in few jobs. I handled the reporting requirements for my corporation. Again, it was a joke just like cash for clunkers. That $4k credit actually costs the tax payers $20k for each vehicle. Same with the housing tax credit of $8k. Costs the tax payers $24k to administor each loan. We tried to tell you idiots that liberals would run this country into the ground. 66 million of you owe us an apology. Liberals Suck!

Posted by: Cobra2 | March 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I love how so many make this stimulus program idea out to be strictly Obama's work, even though Bush started it in 2008.

Posted by: jengagne | March 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If we only have thousands of complaints, this has not only worked but worked well

Thousands compared to how many stimulus bills we had is a great ratio

Posted by: Bious | March 17, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

MALBENNET posted: The Dems are the most corrupt group of politicians in history.


COMPARED TO WHAT??
BASED ON WHAT??


So far in this administration I have not seen TREASON, unlike during the bush years.


Posted by: lquarton | March 17, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Seriously folks! Those who are allegedly committing fraud (and are being investigated) are individual citizens and businesses. Yet, several boneheaded comments seem to translate this into some kind of political claptrap. Hello? Do you blame the police officer for the criminal's crime? Do you blame the dentist when you have tooth decay? Here's a thought: The bailouts kept some big banks and money handlers in business. Thank God! I hate to think what might have happened if all these businesses had collapsed. Oh, oh. The taxpayer has already received much of the money back. Cheez. Wake up and read a newspaper occasionally!

Posted by: SolarWind71 | March 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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