Sunday, February 12, 2006

No Wonder We are Facing a Budget Crisis

No wonder our government is facing a budget crisis. Programs designed to help those in need seem to be suffering from rampant fraud.

Eric Lipton of the New York Times is reporting:

"Thousands of applicants for federal emergency relief money after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita used duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or bogus addresses, suggesting that the $2.3 billion program was a victim of extensive fraud, a Congressional auditor will report Monday."

According to FEMA, one third of the applications had information that wasn't correct. This is probably a pretty good indicator of fraud.

Hmmm...a 2.3 billion dollar program AND one third of the applications had information that wasn't correct, this translates to a potential 691 million in fraud. Of course, this is only a approximate figure.

AND this doesn't include all the charity organizations that were probably fraud victims, also. Of course, the sad truth is that fraudsters were posing as charity organizations, also.

Here is the story from the New York Times:

Auditors Find Huge Fraud in FEMA Aid

None of this should be surprising, there were a lot of reports of fraud (all across the country) on fraud in the wake of the hurricane disasters this year.

Here are some of the posts, I did at the time:

Katrina Fraud Status

Fraud Relating to Katrina in Full Swing

Katrina Fraud Far and Wide

Here is a more recent one, I did on a different subject, but indicative that our social programs are suffering from rampant fraud:

Back to Work Programs a Fraud Heaven for Scammers

If a third of the FEMA dollars and 40-50 percent of Childcare dollars in California are being paid out to fraudulent claims, there is no wonder the government is having financial difficulties.

The only solution to this mess is GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY by those administering these programs. On the other end of the spectrum, laws need to be enacted to severely punish greedy people who take advantage of disaster situations AND prosecution efforts need to meet a standard that makes the activity dangerous.

The sad things is that WE all are victims of this activity because it's our tax dollars paying for it. Americans are some of the most giving people in the world, but we need to be giving to the needy instead of supporting the greedy.


prying1 said...

Thanks for all your work on this one Ted. I've been following it and wonder when the administrators of such programs will have their feet held to the fire.

Editor said...

Very interesting, Ted.