Government probing thousands of stimulus complaints

By Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 16, 2010; 10:53 AM

The Obama administration's economic recovery program has triggered more than 1,700 fraud complaints since it launched last year, according to a new report.

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and federal inspectors general are investigating 147 of those allegations and federal prosecutors have opened investigations into 43 cases, the RAT Board said in its quarterly report released Monday.

Inspectors general are also conducting more than 400 audits and inspections of recipients of economic stimulus funding.

The ratio of complaints versus investigations launched is consistent with similar statistics at federal agencies, the report said. Though details on the complaints and investigations are scarce, officials have said they resemble typical complaints of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of federal funds.

Not all of the 43 cases will result in criminal cases and most of the cases will continue under investigation for several months or years, a Recovery Board spokesman said.

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