Fraud in the Stimulus Program

The Washington Times had this:

President Obama promised Americans they would be able to track "every dime" of the $787 billion stimulus package. He couldn't find it all today if he had a magic wand.

Earl Devaney, chairman of the newly created Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board, said last week that, "If I could wave a magic wand, I would want to follow a dollar from cradle to grave." Alas, no magic wand is available, so money can simply disappear in a puff of smoke.

Mr. Devaney testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on March 19 that, "If the government wants to ensure meaningful accountability, then we must have transparency at every level of transaction." Such thorough transparency doesn't exist because the current rules were not set up to be that precise.

The explanation for the disarray is simple. Federal and state agencies are receiving so much stimulus money so fast that bureaucrats are overwhelmed in their attempts to keep track of it all. It doesn't help that it's unclear what the reporting requirements are in the first place.

Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general of the United States, told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs last month that states are "uncertain about their reporting responsibilities," that there are doubts about "the capacity of reporting systems within their states," and the states question whether their "systems will be capable of aggregating data" the way that the federal government wants it reported. . . . .

How about this for not keeping track of money.

Dead People Get Stimulus
Updated: Thursday, 14 May 2009, 10:30 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 14 May 2009, 5:28 PM EDT

MYFOXNY.COM - This week, thousands of people are getting stimulus checks in the mail. The problem is that a lot of them are dead. A Long Island woman was shocked when she checked the mail and received a letter from the U.S. Treasury -- but it wasn't for her.


Antoniette Santopadre of Valley Stream was expecting a $250 stimulus check. But when her son finally opened it, they saw that the check was made out to her father, Romolo Romonini, who died in Italy 34 years ago. He'd been a U.S. citizen when he left for Italy in 1933, but only returned to the United Stated for a seven-month visit in 1969.

The Santopadres are not alone. The Social Security Administration, which sent out 52 million checks, says that some of those checks mistakenly went to dead people because the agency had no record of their death. That amounts to between 8,000 and 10,000 checks for millions of dollars.

The feds blame a rushed schedule, because all the checks have to be cut by June. The strange this is, some of the checks were made out to people -- like Romonini -- who were never even part of the Social Security. . . . .

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