Pentagon Has Been Using Tax Money for Gambling and Strip Clubs

Not only did Defense Department employees improperly use their work credit cards, but their supervisors failed to take appropriate action after discovering the malfeasance, a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general found.

The investigation was a follow-up audit of a previous report, which discovered that the military racked up 5,000 charges at casinos and strip clubs totaling more than $1 million over the course of a year.

“DoD management did not take appropriate action when notified that cardholders potentially misused their travel card at casinos and adult entertainment establishments,” the 90-page report said. “Specifically, DoD management and travel card officials did not perform adequate reviews for the cardholders reviewed and did not take action to eliminate additional misuse.” Agency program coordinators (APCs), meanwhile, “did not always report misuse to DoD management for action.”

The inspector general “nonstatistically” selected 30 Pentagon cardholders for the audit because they had the “highest dollar amount of high-risk transactions” from the previous investigation.

That included seven cardholders who were used as examples in the earlier audit, four who used their travel cards at strip clubs to charge expenses of $1,000 or more, and 19 who used their cards in casinos at ATMs or for “quasi-cash transactions.”

The report delved down into the specific details of misbehavior for 13 people, three of whom had multiple types of transgressions.

Some of the example behavior appears to have been employees attempting to see what they could get away with, such as the Air Force civilian, identified as Cardholder 3, who sought and received direct reimbursement of $59 for using his travel card at a casino.

That same worker also used his card for seven casino transactions totaling $1,565, but was not disciplined because his supervisor misinterpreted the employee’s labor agreement.

Other behaviors, however, were far more egregious.

The worst included in the report was Cardholder 22, a Navy civilian who “abused [the] travel card for years, and the extent of misuse went undetected.”

This person’s transaction history showed 274 transactions totaling $31,732 “at casinos and card use while the cardholder was not on travel orders,” including 29 transactions totaling nearly $3,500 that occurred after the inspector general notified the command of the potential personal use in December 2014.

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