Browsing: fraud

Feds file charges, seek yacht in State contract fraud probe

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Kathleen McGrade was a contract specialist inside the State Department, but prosecutors say she didn’t live like one. Steering tens of millions of dollars in work to a company controlled by her husband, McGrade bought a yacht, penthouse condo and lots of jewelry, according to charges unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Virginia. McGrade, 64, and her husband, Brian C. Collinsworth, 46, both of Fredericksburg, Va., face up to 20 years in prison on charges stemming from what authorities called a “secret scheme” by the couple to steer more than $60 million to a company they controlled. Authorities said…

Proposed whistleblower protections for contract employees passes committee

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A Senate bill that would give federal contract employees the same whistleblower protections as federal employees passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today. Senate bill 241, introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., would protect contractors who report improper spending or management on federal contracts from retaliation. Contract employees who witness contract fraud currently can bring a civil claim, in the name of the government, against contractors under the False Claims Act. If the claim is successful, the whistleblower could receive up to 30 percent of the recovered funds. However, the False Claims Act does not protect whistleblowers who witness waste,…

1-800-FRAUD

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Well, not exactly. But the Government Accountability Office has set up a hotline to track stimulus fraud, and the agency is asking everyone — feds, contractors and private citizens — to report waste and abuse. GAO is one of the agencies tasked with overseeing billions of dollars in stimulus spending, which would be a difficult task even if the agency had no other responsibilities. “The public can help to identify improper activities or weaknesses in programs that warrant scrutiny,” said Gene Dodaro, the acting comptroller general. Here’s the contact information for FraudNet, GAO’s new hotline: By phone: 1-800-424-5454 By fax:…