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Demos
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How the A.T.F. Spent Millions Unchecked
Sep 8th, 2017 at 4:29pm
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*sigh*

Quote:
‘I Smell Cash’: How the A.T.F. Spent Millions Unchecked

For seven years, agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives followed an unwritten policy: If you needed to buy something for one of your cases, do not bother asking Washington. Talk to agents in Bristol, Va., who controlled a multimillion-dollar account unrestricted by Congress or the bureaucracy...

When The New York Times revealed the existence of the secret account in February, publicly available documents made it seem like the work of a few agents run amok. But thousands of pages of newly unsealed records reveal a widespread scheme — a highly unorthodox merger of an undercover law enforcement operation and a legitimate business. What began as a way to catch black-market cigarette dealers quickly transformed into a nearly untraceable A.T.F. slush fund that agents from around the country could tap...

Federal law prohibits mixing government and private money. The A.T.F. now acknowledges it can point to no legal justification for the scheme. But far from reining in the spending, records show that supervisors at headquarters encouraged it by steering agents from around the country to Bristol.

Yet no one was ever prosecuted, Congress was only recently notified, and the Justice Department tried for years to keep the records secret. The Times intervened in an ongoing fraud lawsuit over the activity and successfully argued that a judge should unseal them. The documents tell a bizarre story of how federal agents set up shop inside a southern Virginia tobacco business, and treated its bank account as their own...

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Jasmine
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Re: How the A.T.F. Spent Millions Unchecked
Reply #1 - Sep 10th, 2017 at 3:05am
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Disgusting. One has to wonder how many other federal agencies have similar set-ups?
  


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Re: How the A.T.F. Spent Millions Unchecked
Reply #2 - Sep 10th, 2017 at 8:49am
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Having worked in and around govt agencies, if estimate the average agency employs 3-5x the number of people it takes in private industry to do the same job

In the 80's the govt employed union who did all maintenance on the old Quonset base went on strike. About 200 people. A private company came in and took over for 5 months. 15 people. And more was done with 15.
  
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