A recent audit revealed that Pentagon employees wasted over $3 million gambling at casinos and going to strip clubs, reported Washington DC watchdog McClatchy DC.
The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General released a report illustrating that Pentagon employees and military service members misappropriated funds from official credit cards from July 2013 to June 2014.
“DoD cardholders improperly used their government travel charge card for personal use at casinos and adult entertainment establishments,” said assistant inspector general for contract management and payments Michael Roark.
Upon examining the credit cards statements, auditors found purchases made at places like the VIP Room of the Sapphire Gentlemen’s and Vegas Showgirls in Las Vegas, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, and Dreams Cabaret. What’s worse, the Defense Travel Management (DTM) Office was aware of the transactions but didn’t think it was a big enough deal to act.
“The report language applies a very broad stroke against all cardholders when, in reality, personal use of the Government Travel Charge Card is negligible when compared to the size and scope of the program,” said DTM office director Harvey Johnson.
Over $3 million in transactions at casinos and strip clubs hardly seems like something to overlook. Johnson thinks that because there were $3.4 billion in “legitimate” transactions, these frivolous charges are nothing. But $3 million is a lot of poker chips and lapdances.
Despite the suspicious charges, $2.2 million worth of those charges were categorized as “official use” charges.
The report also revealed weak regulations and systems that could have deterred such frivolous and deplorable use of taxpayer money. The transactions, which are technically considered suspicious, went unreported to Citibank, the credit company holding the DoD’s account.
Is this what has become of our government officials and tax money? The heads at the Pentagon think $3 million is no big deal. It is a huge deal when it is a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.