Will Obama’s office sleep through stimulus corruption

 Kroll, the world  leading risk consulting firm, is warning that worldwide more than $500 billion in economic stimulus spending could be lost to fraud.  

For more information on bribe warnings, click here for more information.  In the full global fraud report, it says "stimulus spending  creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity for corruption."   Let’s hope the Obama Administration won’t be asleep at the switch.  

But we don’t have to project into the future to see where waste, fraud and abuse could be happening. All we’ve got to do is look back and see how the failures of the U.S. military and civilian investigators and prosecutors to act when crimes occurred right under their noses have already cost the American taxpayer millions.

Two cases-in-point arise from the events surrounding the handwritten  bribe ledger of Major John Cockerham, first described in this space last month.  In the case of the Kamal Mustafa Sultan Company, listed as  KMS in the ledger, the government should have been paying prompt attention to the December 2003 arrest of the company operations manager for theft of U.S. military fuel, and the May 2004 formal notice that the company had to pay more than $500,000 in restitution. (View full report)   

It’s not at all clear why the U.S. commander, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, felt he could just seek a token restitution and fail to refer the matter to the military  system of justice. If handled properly and the company dealt with then, almost surely it would not have shown up in the Cockerham ledger.  The failure to act was even more acute when it came to Future Services. Prompt action when its initials were discovered in the ledger in December 2006 would have cut it off from a scheme resulting in the theft of more than $40 million worth of U.S.fuel in Iraq, with two Future Services employees as "ringleaders." 

The two affidavits from the case repeatedly name Future Services.

If investigators and prosecutors had moved swiftly when they saw the initials of Future Services in the bribe ledger it would have saved millions of hard-earned tax dollars.   And if General McKiernan had acted properly regarding KMS the company would have been cut off from contracting. Let  hope their successor will be faster off the mark, and that the Obama Administration starts to match some of its campaign rhetoric with action.      

About the author:   An award-winning journalist, Pat McGuigan is a longtime contributor to Tulsa Today, and now serves as our contributing editor. He is also managing editor of a weekly newspaper in Oklahoma City.