Government accountability employees accused of stealing money from free lunch program

https://www.bizpacreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/cafeteria0812.jpgIt’s worse than taking candy from babies. They’re accused of taking food from kids in grade school.

The green-eyeshade folks at the Government Accountability Office are supposed to be in charge of making sure tax money gets used the way it’s supposed to.

But prosecutors say a gang from the watchdog agency teamed up to pilfer federal money by signing up their own kids for reduced-price lunches at government expense – and in the process took food almost literally out of the mouths of need children.

“There is no excuse for stealing funds intended to go to children whose parents cannot afford the school lunches,” Maryland’s Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks wrote in a news release announcing charges against five GAO of filing false applications, fraud and theft.

“Their actions are made even worse by the fact that some of them claimed to have not just low income, but no income at all, even though they were working full-time jobs at the GAO.”

According to Fox News, prosecutors say the five bilked the government out of $13,000 over five years by enrolling their own children in the reduced-price lunch program mean to feed the children of the poor.

To be eligible for the program, applicants should have household incomes of 130 percent of the poverty level, or about $30,615 for a family of four, according to Fox. The five GAO employees – including one who was also a member of the Prince George’s County School Board – made between $55,000 and $78,000, Fox reported.

That would buy a lot of lunches for kids whose families really need the money.

“This is a program for people who can’t afford it, but these are people who can,” a spokesman for the county state’s attorney’s office told the Washington Post.

They’re from the government, though. And they’re here to help.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

Comments

Latest Articles