Reports: EPA Failings Facilitate Major Fraud by Employee, Possibly Others
In response to Vitter request, Inspector General releases reports that show fake CIA agent’s fraud was called to Gina McCarthy’s attention nearly two years before she took action
December 12, 2013

Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee released two reports from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on the mismanagement and lack of internal controls at the Agency that led to a senior employee stealing nearly $900,000 of taxpayer funds and pretending to be a CIA agent. The reports also indicate others may have been involved.

"It's very apparent that there were significant failings within the EPA because fraud to this extreme isn't by pure accident. These reports begin to shed light on something perhaps far larger than even the initial investigations indicated," said Vitter.

On August 27, 2013, Vitter requested the EPA OIG investigate whether this corruption is isolated; or if not, who facilitated the excess salary, bonuses, travel and leave. His letter also raised questions about the integrity of the EPA's workforce payroll and benefits process, especially since payroll costs are 25% of their budget. Read Vitter's request for the IG investigation here. On September 5, 2013, the OIG accepted Vitter's request.

The OIG report found that "ineffective internal controls" and "management inaction" enabled John C. Beale to collect unauthorized retention bonuses that boosted his salary above the legal limit.

According to one of the reports, Beale's fraud was exposed as early as June 2010, as a result of an OIG financial audit. By January 17, 2011, current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was aware of Beale's excess bonus payments, yet McCarthy allowed his bonuses to continue. Moreover, she permitted the payment of his regular salary, along with the bonus until February 5, 2013, even after she believed he had retired.

Reports:
Internal Controls and Management Actions Concerning John C. Beale's Pay Issues
Internal Controls and Management Actions Concerning John C. Beale's Travel

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