Browsing: State Department

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…

Union: passport failure not our fault

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The National Federation of Federal Employees says federal passport specialists are overworked and often don’t have time to thoroughly review passport applications. This burden may be responsible for the State Department’s failure to identify five of seven fraudulent passport applications the Government Accountability Office submitted in a covert operation, the union argued in a press release today. Passport agency workers have to meet productivity quotas and “failing to meet these numbers in the interest of carefully reviewing citizenship documents could lead to termination,” according to the NFFE. Passport specialists were unable to provide input when higher-ups were formulating the quotas,…