From SAVE services:
P.R.$1.2 Million in Anti-Violence Funds Embezzled, Missing, or Misused: Fraud is Widespread, SAVE Charges
Contact: Teri Stoddard
$1.2 Million in Anti-Violence Funds Embezzled, Missing, or Misused: Fraud is Widespread, SAVE Charges
Washington, DC/April 4, 2012 – Following release of three reports by the Department of Justice, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is charging that many grants made under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) are plagued by fraud and waste. Such malfeasance shortchanges the vulnerable victims of partner abuse.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued three reports in March highlighting the problem:
1. A March 28 press release announced the sentencing of Julie and Andrea Matau for embezzlement of funds from a VAWA grant. From 2005 to 2007, the mother and daughter pair stole $159,763 in federal money from their American Samoa legal services corporation, which had received $1.2 million in VAWA-related grants. click here
2. A DOJ audit of the Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission reported that $847,553 in funds awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women were found to be questionable. Of this amount, $372,434 of expenditures had no records to document how the money had been spent. click here
3. An audit of VAWA grants to the Coeur d’Alene Native American tribe’s domestic violence program revealed $240,431 had been improperly spent, including $171,000 in salary for an unapproved position. click here
Each year VAWA awards $500 million in grants to abuse-reduction organizations, but fiscal management practices have been found to be sub-standard. A SAVE report documents long-standing problems of fraud and abuse. click here
The SAVE report points out that the Office of Violence Against Women has not conducted comprehensive self-evaluations, in disregard of directives from the Government Accountability Office and Office of Management and Budget.
Says SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook: “Victims of domestic violence are ill-served by fraud and waste, especially on such a broad scale. Congress must assure the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act contains strong accountability measures that deny funding to rogue grantees that misuse taxpayer money.”
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence: www.saveservices.org.
This goes to show that VAWA money was used for purposes other than what it was meant to be and a lot of it is being used fraudulently as these links will indicate. This is a big issue perhaps we should tell our elected officials and protest this waste. You can find your Congressperson and/or Senators here. Let them know about this waste,fraud and abuse.