Stimulating Fraud


The federal government is investigating over 1,900 cases of waste, fraud, and mismanagement of stimulus money, reports the Washington Guardian.

The Guardian cites a blog post that highlights the work of the Recovery Board and its oversight work through the Recovery Operations Center (ROC).

The Guardian also reports that there have been almost 600 convictions of stimulus misuse since 2009, with just over $11 million lost. Those numbers could rise rapidly:

The Recovery Board charged with coordinating efforts among than inspectors generals at more than two dozen federal agencies that distributed stimulus money posted an item on its official blog last month claiming the total amount of money lost to fraud from the $840 billion stimulus program was a miniscule $11.1 million so far.

Vice President Joe Biden even made reference to the figure as he defended the stimulus program from attacks from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan during the vice presidential debate last Thursday. But that number only identifies money that is considered lost to fraud and does not include funds still under investigation or those recommended for reimbursement after audits identified misspending, officials said.

And a senior official familiar with the ongoing investigations by inspectors generals at federal agencies told the Washington Guardian the government expects the loss figure to balloon in coming months.

The Guardian cites several examples of fraud or potential misuse.

In one, the California Energy Commission received duplicate payments from the government.

In another, more “than 150 potential shell companies may have improperly received Recovery funds set aside for the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program.”

The Recovery Board’s transparency website,, has come under attack for being incomplete.