January 4, 2012
John R. Brock, 52, of Crofton, MD, was a former civilian employee of the Department of Defense's ("DOD")Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). As if there aren't enough acronyms and titles in the military and in government, Brock was a budget analyst within the Resources Management Department ("RMD") of the AFIP from 2007 through 2011.
You got all of that? Brock was a civilian budget analyst within the RMD of the AFIP of the DOD. Yeah, ya gotta love that alphabet soup.
From September 2008 through April 2011, it seems that Brock submitted 99 travel vouchers totaling $485,535 through the Defense Travel System ("DTS") using the profile of a former AFIP employee. Seems that there was this little problem, however. The travel expenses were never incurred. Uh oh.
On October 13, 2011, Brock pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a criminal Information charging him with one count of making a false claim against the United States. More specifically, the feds charged this civilian budget analyst within the RMD of the AFIP of the DOD of fraudulently using the DTS.
Brock faced up to five years in prison and a period of supervised release; a $250,000 fine; and criminal forfeiture totaling $485,535.
On January 3, 2012, Brock was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release; and ordered to pay $485,535 in restitution and to forfeit three sail boats and two residential properties.
Oh my, how quaint. A budget analyst in the DOD didn't exactly mind the niceties of staying within his budget. As if - what? - the DOD doesn't exactly have a tawdry history of lousy cost controls and cost over-runs? Gee, big surprise here that some civilian employee gamed the system. And to think, all along I was more worried about major contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed, and Northrup.
Of course, tell me, how the hell does a budget analyst actually incur nearly half a million bucks in travel expenses within three years - I mean, you know, that's something like 33 trips a year or nearly three a month. And before you come to the defense of DOD, remember that the vouchers were submitted using another employee's profile - a former employee, at that. Of course, you'd think that the fact that this lowly budget analyst had managed to accumulate three sailboats and two residential properties might have attracted some scrutiny.
Just another example of why I'm so outspoken when it comes to increasing taxes and the budgets for government agencies - the Securities and Exchange Commission being among my most frequent targets. Before I would agree to one more penny in federal taxes or an increased budget for any federal agency, I want to see far more cost controls, pre-emptive forensic accounting, and anti-fraud efforts. Better management would likely realize billions of dollars in savings for beleaguered taxpayers.
Think about it: Nearly $500,000 worth of 99 false travel vouchers over three years for a DOD civilian budget analyst. And that didn't set off any red flags?
But, then again, there were all those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no?
TOP SECRET PHOTO
MAXIMUM SECURITY CLEARANCE RESTRICTION
Operation Stealth Budget Analyst: seen here in secret footage, a Stealth bomber flying phony civilian budget analyst on 99 top secret bogus flights.
Note bomber preparing to drop heavy load of sarcasm.