Report: Pentagon workers used gov't credit cards for gambling, prostitutes

Defense employees may have used their government credit cards to gamble and buy adult entertainment to hide it from their spouses, a source said.
By Doug G. Ware  |  May 6, 2015 at 10:03 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- A federal audit has found that some employees at the Pentagon used government-issued credit cards to pay for things like gambling and prostitutes, a source close to the investigation reportedly said.

The audit, reported by Politico on Wednesday, was conducted by the Pentagon's inspector general and found that a number of defense employees used the cards for such activities.

The inspector general's office is expected to release findings of the audit later this month.

The probe reportedly found numerous instances of civilian and military defense personnel using their government-issued credit cards for gambling and various "adult entertainment" while in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

However, the official cited in Politico's report did not know whether the federal government actually ended up paying for those activities -- since defense employees pay the credit card bills and later ask for reimbursement. In fact, the source said, it's possible the employees did pay for the activities out of their own pocket and only used their government credit cards to hide the activities from their spouses.

The charges, Politico's source said, will likely lead to a stern warning by the Pentagon to its workers that using the credit cards in such ways is a violation of the department's policy -- and possibly illegal.

In 2012, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act to mandate federal oversight of government credit card usage.

"What I hope is that my reforms that became law have been implemented well and that agencies and auditors are using the reforms to catch problems," Grassley said. "If everything is implemented as intended, we'll stop a lot of purchase card and travel card abuse."

Officials say abuse of government credit cards has been a continuing challenge in recent years. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office found instances "where cardholders used purchase cards to subscribe to Internet dating services, buy video iPods for personal use and pay for lavish dinners that included top-shelf liquor."

Three employees were fired and two resigned last year at the Bureau of Land Management after they charged $800,000 worth of gift cards on their government credit cards, Politico's report said.

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