Same Old Same Old--Cease and Desist Instead of Jail
Firms Redirected Money Meant For Native Alaskans, Audit Finds
By Robert O'Harrow Jr. Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, August 13, 2008; D01
Two government contractors designated as small, Alaska-native-owned firms directed millions of dollars in fees to other companies owned by managers who were not Alaska natives and should not have received the payments, according to an audit report by the Office of Inspector General at the Small Business Administration.
The findings are part of an ongoing review by the inspector general's office of the status of Alaska native corporations, or ANCs, which are eligible to receive sole-source contracts of any size from federal agencies. Congress three decades ago permitted the creation of ANCs as a means to settle land claims and to spur economic development.
. . . From 2003 to 2006, the firms secured federal contracts worth up to $833 million.
. . . "We believe these concerns merit your immediate attention as APM and Goldbelt entered into unapproved agreements that resulted in millions of dollars in 8(a) revenues being paid to companies owned by their two managers," the audit report said.
What am I missing here?
". . . directed millions of dollars in fees to other companies owned by managers who were not Alaska natives and should not have received the payments."
That's fraud committed against congressionally approved set-aside programs. Fraud (if convicted) is punishable by prison. And this merely "merits your immediate attention?" Seems it ought to merit a grand jury.
Case after case after case of fraud against the United States Government goes unpunished because it is apparently just too damned much trouble. The real problem here is what is called 'moral hazard;" defined as the lack of any incentive to guard against a risk when you are protected against it.
Leaving cases such as this with little other than an admonishment and a wrist-slap doesn't do a thing to dissuade others from lining their pockets. White-collar economic crime is still crime. The purse that has been robbed is yours and mine.