DHS' IG reports millions recovered from fraud

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general has recovered $228 million in fines, restitutions, cost savings and other payments from investigations conducted from March 2003 through September 2008, according to a special report the IG released today.

The IG’s office received 59,829 complaints of alleged waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds at DHS during that time, and the majority came through a hotline number, the report states.

In that time, the complaints resulted in 2,014 arrests and 1,458 convictions. In 2008, the IG investigated about 11,000 complaints and recovered $52 million, the report states. The largest volume of complaints — 15,774 — was logged in 2005. That year also experienced the largest amount of money recovered in a single year — $96 million.

Many of the cases pertained to DHS employees engaging in fraud, such as border patrol or immigration agents accepting bribes for allowing illegal goods or individuals to cross U.S. borders, the report states. There were also cases involving fraudulent activity by DHS contractors and recipients of grants and disaster aid.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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