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Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times, covering fiscal waste, fraud and political ethics. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and previously worked as an investigative reporter for the Washington Guardian. Phillip can be reached at

Articles by Phillip Swarts

The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse.

Toddler Taj Mahal: City spends $40,000 per student to build pre-K school

Forty-thousand dollars per student sounds like the annual price tag for tuition at a prestigious college. But it's actually the projected cost to build a pre-kindergarten school in Austin, Texas, that has state officials sparring with the local school board. Published November 14, 2013

From left: Tricia Bear Eagle, Helen Red Feather, Rudell Bear Shirt and Edward Jealous Of Him, all of Wounded Knee, S.D., wait July 20, 2012, for tourists near the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at a self-made visitors center. A generation after many other American Indians sought to harness their history for profit, the Oglala Sioux Tribe is still debating how much culture they are willing to share with tourists. (Associated Press)

Buy Indian Act finally implemented after 100 years

Regulations to implement legislation passed during the William Howard Taft administration are just now getting around to being implemented, some 103 years later. Taft signed the Buy Indian Act into law on June 25, 1910, to give an economic boost to American Indian populations on reservations. Published November 10, 2013

The State Department headquarters is located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Ukrainian crime rings exploit U.S. visa lottery

Organized crime rings have exploited the U.S. visa application process in Ukraine, obtaining fraudulent credentials and documents from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev that put U.S. national security at risk, the State Department's chief watchdog warns. Published October 30, 2013

**FILE** The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press)

IRS prevents payment of $1.2 billion for fraudulent tax returns

The Internal Revenue Service stopped $1.2 billion in payments for fraudulent tax returns in the first four months of 2013 alone but is still vulnerable to a lack of information from the private sector, a new investigative report has found. Published October 28, 2013

Sand and rubble sit where the boardwalk used to be in Seaside Heights, N.J. Seaside Heights, like many other coastal towns, is racing to rebuild its boardwalk from Superstorm Sandy’s damage in time for next summer’s tourism season. Boardwalks are a major economic engine for shoreline communities. (Associated Press)

Some N.J. mail carriers told to report for work during Superstorm Sandy

Rain and other severe weather may not stop the nation's mail carriers "from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," but managers at one post office in New Jersey took the pledge a little too literally, and required employees to come into work during Hurricane Sandy last year. Published October 27, 2013

The Pentagon. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Contractor admits selling defective parts to Pentagon

A business owner who contracted with the Pentagon has pleaded guilty to charges he sold the military defective parts that grounded planes, and then sent sensitive information to India. Published October 24, 2013

**FILE** The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press)

IRS contractors still owe taxes

Almost 700 employees of firms contracted by the Internal Revenue Service owe $5.4 million in back taxes, according to a report released Wednesday by the tax agency's inspector general. Published October 23, 2013

** FILE ** Associated Press

Medicare cards still put Social Security numbers at risk

Medicare has not found a good solution to removing Social Security Numbers on beneficiaries' cards, a government watchdog warned, leaving open the possibility that stolen cards could easily lead to stolen identities. Published October 18, 2013

** FILE ** A street vendor splashes water on his face to ease the discomfort from the tear gas fired by police during protests against President Michel Martelly's government, mainly about the higher cost of living in downtown of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. The protest happened on a national holiday known as Jean-Jacques Dessalines day, honoring one of the nation's founding fathers. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

U.S. Haiti aid effort faces delays, shortfalls: report

Three years after an earthquake in Haiti that left 230,000 people dead, barely a third of U.S. promised aid has been given out and the aid effort faces ongoing challenges, a federal watchdog says. Published October 18, 2013