Skip to comments.Government made $100B in improper payments
Posted on 07/09/2014 5:18:27 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
WASHINGTON (AP) By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them tax credits to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.
Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher.
The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.
"Nobody knows exactly how much taxpayer money is wasted through improper payments, but the federal government's own astounding estimate is more than half a trillion dollars over the past five years," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. "The fact is, improper payments are staggeringly high in programs designed to help those most in need children, seniors and low-income families."
Mica chairs the House Oversight subcommittee on government operations. The subcommittee is holding a hearing on improper payments Wednesday afternoon.
Each year, federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments they issue. They include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments
(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...
Improper payments to ineligible persons = " ILLEGALS "
No, they're corrupt, too!
COLLUSION AND CONSPIRACIES GALORE Some $8.9 billion was funneled to Madoff through a dozen so-called feeder funds based in Europe, the Caribbean and Central America......a labyrinth of hedge funds, management companies and service providers that, to unsuspecting outsiders, seemed to compose a formidable system of checks and balances.
But the purpose of this complex architecture was just the opposite: the feeder funds provided different modes for directing money to Madoff in order to avoid scrutiny.
WIKI.COM NAILS THE MADOFF OPERATION Stanley Chais, a philanthropist who invested heavily with Mr. Madoff, and Carl J. Shapiro, one of the money manager's oldest friends, are among at least eight Madoff investors and associates being scrutinized by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. Prosecutors are continuing to probe Madoff family members and employees.
Others include: Frank Avellino, a Florida accountant who ran an investment fund that invested client money; Noel Levine, a real-estate investor who works out of a two-room office on the 17th floor, next door to Madoff's fraudulent investment operation, and Palm Beach investor Robert Jaffe, a son-in-law of Mr. Shapiro who referred potential investors to Madoff.
Entity called Madoff Securities International Ltd.----In 2008, about $1 billion was transferred between Madoffs U.S. firm and Madoff Securities International Ltd. in London. On March 24, 2009 Judge Louis L. Stanton granted power of attorney to Irving Picard, trustee, over Madoff's controlling stake in London.
Authorities in the U.K. are seeking evidence of money laundering involving the London business, Madoff Securities International Ltd., which opened in 1983 as a separate legal entity from Mr. Madoff's U.S. New York office. He allegedly sent more than $250 million beginning as early as 2002, from his New York-based firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, to the U.K. office and then back to accounts in the U.S.
In 2000, Madoff began to add staff and expand the operation, and loaned the business $62.5 million. He had a staff of 25, including traders, managers and support. Instructions to staff was that they communicate with Madoff Securities through personal e-mail accounts, not through company e-mail.
There were nine directors. Family members with shares included Mark and Andrew Madoff, Peter Madoff, and Bernard himself. Ruth Madoff, Bernard Madoff's wife, also held shares.  Non-family members with shares included Maurice J. "Sonny" Cohn. Madoff and Cohn were shareholders in Cohmad Securities, which steered investors to Mr. Madoff's advisory business.
In 1987, Mr. Cohn had shares of Madoff Holdings Ltd., a predecessor to the current London firm. In 1998, Mr. Cohn held 35,624 non-voting shares, some of which he transferred to "BL Madoff" in 1998, and the rest that he "disposed of" in 2004.
Paul Konigsberg, a New York City accountant and a longtime friend for more than 25 years, prepared two Madoff Family Foundation tax returns, and received the non-voting shares, valued at $35,000. He did work for the London office when it was first opened.  A general ledger of Madoff accounts listed Konigsberg, of the reputable accounting firm of Konigsberg, Wolf & Co., as receiving $30,000 a month to advise the MSIL operations, and funnel client checks to the London office for Madoff's own use.
Clients were often directed to Mr. Konigsberg by Mr. Madoff and his family. Mr. Konigsberg prepared the tax returns of foundations of six other families, many of which have lost millions, even hundreds of millions, of dollars. He also represented scores of individual Madoff investors.
Mr. Konigsberg's firm has received a civil subpoena from the SEC. His Madoff-related clients included Carl and Ruth Shapiro, Boston philanthropists whose foundation lost $145 million, and whose son-in-law, Robert M. Jaffe, under investigation, is a Madoff business partner.
Konigsberg held Madoff accounts under his name including two in the name of the Westlake Foundation. Paul J. and Judith Konigsberg are officers and directors of the foundation. He owns homes in his wife, Judith's name in Greenwich, Connecticut and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
On April 20, 2009, Steven Leber filed a $4 million lawsuit against Konigsberg and his accounting firm for negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty. Konigsberg answered the charges with affirmative defenses.
Evidence is being gathered by investigators on a U.S.-U.K. task force that Konigsberg and Levy, a real-estate mogul and philanthropist are believed to be involved in an international transfer of money. Levy is believed to have helped Paul Konigsberg funnel checks to London. And investigators in New York say there were billions of dollars worth of checks going back and forth between Madoff and Levy.
One Levy entity---a "do-good tax-exempt foundation" "says" it lost $224 million "investing" with Madoff. Supposedly the foundations helped the "less fortunate," especially ex-convicts.
Looks like Madoff helped himself to his "investors'" money---
they thought Madoff was just doing some money-laundering for them.
You’re absolutely right. They can be both. Incompetence and corruption are not mutually exclusive.
The real number is probably quadruple that amount.