For nearly 40 years, people have reported suspicions of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of federal funds to our FraudNet team. Today’s WatchBlog peeks inside FraudNet to see what happens to the calls, emails, and other tips we receive. A new expansion of the fraud line will occur in July and it will become available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A group effort Our FraudNet team works closely with other law enforcement entities and state and federal agencies. Of the more than 2,000 complaints we received in fiscal year 2015, we referred about half to other agencies. Most referrals are to the relevant agency’s Office of the Inspector General, which has its own audit and investigative staff. From there, these referrals may result in criminal, civil, or administrative action. For example, we received an allegation that someone was falsely claiming that their small business was owned by a service-disabled veteran. In this case, the fraudster was looking to get up to $2 million in payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thanks to the tip, as well as follow-up by FraudNet, VA, and the Small Business Administration, the culprit
- pleaded guilty to wire fraud,
- was sentenced to federal prison, and
- had to pay almost $1.5 million in restitution.