Over a three year period, the Defense Department spent hundreds of billions of dollars on defense contractors who paid millions in civil fines to resolve fraud cases — and even spent $682 million on 30 contractors who were convicted in criminal fraud cases.
That’s according to a report prepared by the Pentagon thanks to a provision in their spending bill by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that requires them to prepare a report on the fraud committed by contractors. The latest report covers fiscal years 2007 through 2009, and says that the government paid $270 billion to 91 various contractors who were involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in judgments of more than $1 million.
“With the country running a $14 trillion national debt, my goal is to provide as much transparency as possible about what is happening with taxpayer money,” Sanders said in a statement. “The sad truth is that virtually all of the major defense contractors in this country for years have been engaged in systemic fraudulent behavior, while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.”
Billions more went to firms that had been suspended or debarred by the Pentagon for misusing taxpayer dollars, Sanders said.
Yet the leadership of the Pentagon concluded that the “existing remedies with respect to contractor wrongdoing are sufficient,” they said in the report.
Perhaps one of the worst offenders, Sanders said, is Northrop Grumman, the third largest contractor in the country which paid $519.8 million since 1995 to settle government contract fraud charges.
Read the full report here.
(H/T to the Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel)