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Judicial Watch • Homeland Sec. Officers Go On Spending Spree

Homeland Sec. Officers Go On Spending Spree

Homeland Sec. Officers Go On Spending Spree

MAY 24, 2010


Officers at the Homeland Security agency that secures federal buildings went on huge personal spending sprees with their government credit cards yet authorities refuse to punish them or force them to refund taxpayers.

The Federal Protective Service (FPS) employees bought fancy clothes, gold coins, flat-screen televisions, gym memberships and athletic shoes with Uncle Sam’s money but they will face no consequences for their corrupt actions. Federal prosecutors have twice refused to charge them and the Department of Homeland Security won’t reprimand them, despite a government agency inspector general report documenting the wrongdoing.

Details of the cover up were made public recently by a Washington D.C. newspaper that obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act. It turns out that the feds have been quietly probing the scandal, involving 21 FPS employees, for five years. Three agents apparently resigned, four retired, five may face a “possible reprimand” and the rest will cruise as if nothing ever happened.

The FPS employees racked up thousands of dollars in unauthorized personal expenses on their government-issued purchase cards during a transition period in which the agency moved from the General Services Administration (GSA) to the Department of Homeland Security. A GSA Inspector General report said the employees took advantage of the transition period “to loot GSA resources by purchasing unauthorized goods.”

Charges include $60,000 in tuition payments, $32,000 for men’s suits at upscale stores, $15,000 for gold and silver coins and $8,000 in gym memberships. Additionally, the federal employees illegally used expense vouchers to get reimbursement for more than $9,000 in clothing, including an $800 tuxedo.

The overwhelming evidence and solid documentation led investigators at the inspector general’s office to refer the case to the Justice Department for prosecution, but the agency has twice refused to act. In 2005, prosecutors determined that FPS employees had not been appropriately advised of their rights. Prosecutors refused to provide a reason for turning the case down again in 2008.

Created in 1971, the FPS claims to be a “highly trained and multi-disciplined police force” with 1,225 employees. Its mission is to assure that federal properties are safe and secure for government employees, officials and visitors. The federal agency also oversees a staff of 15,000 contract guards that help secure more than 9,000 buildings nationwide.


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