Sunday, April 02, 2006

If We Can't Trust Giving to the Red Cross, Who Can We Trust?

Most major organizations face a growing problem, or the fact that many of their fraud losses come from within. You would think that the Red Cross would be immune to this, but apparently not.

It seems that although disasters bring out the best in people, it also brought out some of the worst behavior imaginable.

Hurricane Katrina illustrates this. It almost seems that more money was distributed to fraudsters than to the people, who were victims. No one was immune from the Government to the Red Cross.

I recently blogged about "Who Really Profited in the Hurricane Disasters" in reference to massive amounts of money that was lost due to fraud and waste in the government effort to provide relief.

Now the Red Cross is under fire and has turned the case over to the FBI. Here is a story from the AP, courtesy of Forbes:

"The FBI is looking into allegations of theft and other wrongdoing by American Red Cross volunteers who distributed relief supplies after Hurricane Katrina. A task force probe - which includes state, local and federal authorities - began after the Red Cross conducted its own investigation and turned over information to authorities, said Jim Bernazzani, the agent in charge of the FBI's New Orleans office."

Full story, here.

My sad prediction is that in future disasters, I would imagine the public is going to be less likely to help. Perhaps (in the end) only aggressive prosecution of the guilty will bring the people's confidence back. A little diligence within some of these organizations to prevent misdeeds from their own would help, also.

It would only be justice for those, who committed fraud when people's lives were at stake.

Here are some previous posts, I've done on the hurricane disasters:

Fraud Related to FEMA

FBI Reports Fraudulent Activity on Internet Related to Hurricane ...

Katrina Fraud Far and Wide

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