Skip to comments.Warning sign? GSA deputy pleaded guilty to embezzlement months before Vegas bash
Posted on 04/22/2012 9:04:32 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen
The former right-hand man for the official at the heart of the General Services Administration spending scandal pleaded guilty in a long-running embezzlement scheme just months before that fateful Las Vegas convention in 2010 -- a case one lawmaker now sees as a warning sign ignored.
"They were living in some strange bubble," Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said of GSA employees, in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."
The senator, in announcing Sunday that he's urging the GSA inspector general to launch a probe of the entire agency for evidence of similar abuses, invoked the case of Daniel Voll. Looking back at the charges against Voll, the allegations of lavish spending at the Nevada convention and other taxpayer-backed trips have an element of déjà vu.
Voll used to be deputy commissioner in the western region of the GSA's Public Buildings Service -- that's the division Jeffrey Neely led until he was placed on leave for his involvement in the Vegas bash.
In April 2010, Voll pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of roughly $61,000. According to the Justice Department...
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
In the civilian world..the boss signs the expense book and gets a copy of the monthly company credit card statement.
Why doesn’t the govt do the same thing? That minimizes the credit card abuse..or makes the boss responsible.
“Something’s rotten in DC. “
You’re kidding, right?
“In the civilian world..the boss signs the expense book and gets a copy of the monthly company credit card statement.
Why doesnt the govt do the same thing? That minimizes the credit card abuse..or makes the boss responsible.”
In the civilian world the CFO has all the finance subordinates reporting to him or her. Just watched the Cong. hearing on CSPAN. The current overall CFO of the GSA DOES NOT have the Regional CFO’s reporting to her. Give me a break!
When he checked out six days later, his bill totaled $2,645.98, including $413 for a couples massage, $80 a day in club charges and $12.50 for smoky almonds from the in-room minibar.
Voll paid the charges with a government-issued credit card and later claimed they were legitimate business expenses. In reality, they were part of a four-year string of falsified travel spending that resulted in taxpayers picking up the tab for luxury hotel stays, gourmet meals, massages and other frills.
In August, a federal judge in San Francisco arranged a different sort of stay for Voll three months in prison, followed by one year of probation. He also was fined $100,000.
Voll had pleaded guilty four months earlier to embezzling public funds, after being charged with defrauding the government of more than $60,000. Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 10 months in prison, plus a year of probation.
It was unclear from the case file what tipped off the GSA to Volls activities, or why they were not detected sooner.
A database of the agencys travel expenses, obtained by JunketSleuth through Freedom of Information Act requests, show that Voll accounted for the largest dollar amount of spending by any GSA employee from 2007 through 2009.
The database lists the actual expenditures on Volls trips at just over $250,000, which was more than 30 percent higher than any other employee.
Voll was deputy regional commissioner for the GSAs Public Buildings Service, which oversees government-owned properties in a territory that includes California, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa. In light of his job, some significant travel expenditures were understandable. But given that Voll was based in San Francisco and had a home in the Bay Area, the local hotel bills should have set off alarms.
According to documents filed in connection with his criminal case, he racked up more than $10,000 in charges for five stays at luxury San Francisco hotels between September 2008 and April 2009.
The bill for the first of those stays, also at the Intercontinental San Francisco, showed that Voll paid $750 the first night and $1,350 the second night for a one-bedroom suite on the 30th floor. His tab for the two-night stay was $2,970.87.
In February 2009, Voll logged back-to-back stays at the W San Francisco and the St. Regis San Francisco. He spent four nights at the W and three nights including Valentines Day at the St. Regis.
Volls room bill at the W was $1,623.81 and included $433.14 in food and beverage charges. Receipts filed in the criminal case show that Voll and a companion dined on foie gras, duck, and sole, then topped off the meal with sorbet and cappuccino.
The bill at the St. Regis was $2,641.26. The nightly room rate, before tax, was $480. The charges also included a couples massage, at $390, and more than $50 a day in parking charges.
Volls travel records show a one-night stay at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in March 2009, followed by the six-night stay at the InterContinental in April.
By “rotten” I meant there could be far more t & e expenses shenanigans than what us civilians normally assume.
I’m just thinking that the reporting necessary to detect lavish spending where invidual people/trips/charges are abnormally high or frequent is fairly simple. Since that kind of simple reporting is obviously not being done, then we could be seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of employee travel/entertainment expenses.
The sheer audacity of zero accountability across the entire Federal government is, IMHO, mind boggling. Hey, I’m not saying there never was waste or scamming. Just that we’re seeing a complete degeneration, of legitimacy, IMHO. At least back in the day if there was a scandal that leaked, something happened ! The press would ditch scandals centered around a President, but not every single Federal employee. And nowadays, if scandals break in the news, so many citizens have no morals themselves or are apathetic that the scandals just blow over in days.
It just seems to me that the worst Congress can dish out is hearings - just for the cases that they are made aware of ! And the Executive branch simply ignores them. Complete and utter contempt of Congress, which relies on the Justice department to prosecute. The system only works when there is at least a minimum of decency.
I used to work in a government contract operation as a young woman. When I worked there were so many checks or reviews on everything you did, it was really too much red tape and levels of management for review.
After I was out of the government (it was like being sprung from prison), one of the things Republicans did was to “streamline” government and get rid of unnecessary checks and balances and all those checkers to reduce the cost of government.
In truth, I don’t think they had a clue on how to do that without letting the horses out of the barn. Government spending and contracting is complex because of all the laws and regulations that have to be followed to be on the right side of the law. When no one is looking or caring, people get tempted to be slimey and that is why some of the review layers were in place. This is especially true in govenment where no profit nor product is expected and money is way too loose. High spending is corrupting in government.
They need to have high levels of travel and credit card use and approval for employees. You have to check what you expect in government and business.
“They were living in some strange bubble,”
‘bout describes pretty much ALL that goes on in DC withe RinoCracy....
“The database lists the actual expenditures on Volls trips at just over $250,000, which was more than 30 percent higher than any other employee.”
Looking at what those expenditures were, the fact that they were only 30% higher than that of others in the agency, is a bit disturbing. On the taxpayer dime, running the deficits we do, a Days Inn or a Motel 6 seems more in order. I’d also want to talk to whomever he was supposed tone meeting with on official Federal business in SF...and see what actually got accomplished.
EVERYTHING is rotten in DC!
It is one big scam on the taxpayers that any of the agencies need to travel for these types of meetings. Most successful PRIVATE businesses don't waste money like that! Taxpayers are getting screwed AGAIN!