The Defense Department paid $285 billion to hundreds of military contractors that defrauded the Pentagon, according to a senator’s analysis of a new Pentagon report.
In a Defense report prepared for Sen. Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent says the Pentagon spent $270 billion from 2007 to 2009 on 91 contractors involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in judgments of more than $1 million.
He says another $682 million went to 30 contractors convicted of “hard-core” criminal fraud in the same three-year period.
Billions of additional dollars went to firms that had been suspended or debarred by the Pentagon for misusing taxpayer dollars, Sanders says.
“With the country running a $14 trillion national debt, my goal is to provide as much transparency as possible about what is happening with taxpayer money,” the senator said. “The sad truth is that virtually all of the major defense contractors in this country for years have been engaged in systemic fraudulent behavior, while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.”
A Sanders provision in a defense spending bill required the report and directed the Defense Department to recommend ways to punish fraudulent contractors. The report concluded no changes were necessary.