card, and subsequently obtained refunds. However, in the most egregious circumstances, such as repeated fraudulent activities by the cardholders, sometimes over several years, the agencies did not take actions until months after the fraudulent activity occurred, or after we selected the transactions and requested documentation from the agencies for the suspicious transactions. Table 4 illustrates instances where we found fraud, or indications of fraud, from our data mining and investigative work.
Table 4: Fraudulent and Potentially Fraudulent Activity
Description of activity
Convenience checks Fraudulent use
Lost computer equipment
Forest Service, USDA
Potentially fraudulent transaction
During a 6-year period, the cardholder fraudulently wrote approximately 180 checks to an individual with whom the cardholder lived and shared a bank account. All transactions were undetected by the agency.
USDA’s Office of Inspector General received a tip from a whistleblower that started the investigation leading to the cardholder’s indictment in November 2006.
In June 2007, the cardholder pled guilty to embezzlement and tax fraud charges.
The cardholder was sentenced in November 2007 to 21 months imprisonment followed by 36 months of supervised release and was required to pay over $642,000 in restitution.
Cardholder purchased 19 pilferable items, including 2 LCD monitors, 5 iPods, a laser jet printer, a PDA, and other computer accessories, 18 of which are now lost and presumed stolen.
The cardholder is no longer with the Navy command.
The Navy could not provide documentation showing that the purchase was properly approved, that the requester received the items, or that the Navy had possession of 18 of the 19 items.
GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards