Scot's Feed
Dec 23, 2013

Special Report: Why the Pentagon’s accounting fixes end up broken

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force had great expectations for the Expeditionary Combat Support System when it launched the project in 2005. This accountants’ silver bullet, the Air Force predicted a year later, “will fundamentally revolutionize the way the Air Force provides logistics support.”

The new computer-based logistics technology would replace 420 obsolete, inefficient and largely incompatible “legacy” systems with a single, unified means of tracking the hardware of warfare. And it would be done for a mere $1.5 billion, combining three off-the-shelf products from Oracle Corp and modifying them only enough so that they could work together.

Dec 23, 2013

Why the Pentagon’s accounting fixes end up broken

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Dec 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force had great
expectations for the Expeditionary Combat Support System when it launched the
project in 2005. This accountants’ silver bullet, the Air Force predicted a year
later, “will fundamentally revolutionize the way the Air Force provides
logistics support.”

The new computer-based logistics technology would replace 420 obsolete,
inefficient and largely incompatible “legacy” systems with a single, unified
means of tracking the hardware of warfare. And it would be done for a mere $1.5
billion, combining three off-the-shelf products from Oracle Corp and modifying
them only enough so that they could work together.

Nov 18, 2013

The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste

LETTERKENNY ARMY DEPOT, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.

Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.

Nov 18, 2013

Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste

LETTERKENNY ARMY DEPOT, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.

Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.

Jul 9, 2013

Special Report: How the Pentagon’s payroll quagmire traps America’s soldiers

EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – As Christmas 2011 approached, U.S. Army medic Shawn Aiken was once again locked in desperate battle with a formidable foe. Not insurgents in Iraq, or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan – enemies he had already encountered with distinguished bravery.

This time, he was up against the U.S. Defense Department.

Aiken, then 30 years old, was in his second month of physical and psychological reconstruction at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, after two tours of combat duty had left him shattered. His war-related afflictions included traumatic brain injury, severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), abnormal eye movements due to nerve damage, chronic pain, and a hip injury.

Jul 9, 2013

Pentagon’s paymasters hound a master sergeant

By Kelly Carr and Scot J. Paltrow

(Reuters) – Four months after 25-year Air Force veteran George Koffler retired, the Defense Department demanded that he give back $4,034.67 in pay it said he hadn’t deserved.

In the more than two years since, the former master sergeant has vainly sought an answer to a simple question: Why?

Jan 20, 2012

Insight: Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks

By Scot J. Paltrow

(Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

The firm, Covington & Burling, is one of Washington’s biggest white shoe law firms. Law professors and other federal ethics experts said that federal conflict of interest rules required Holder and Breuer to recuse themselves from any Justice Department decisions relating to law firm clients they personally had done work for.

Dec 22, 2011

Special report: The watchdogs that didn’t bark

By Scot Paltrow

(Reuters) – Four years after the banking system nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.

The federal government, as has been widely noted, has pressed few criminal cases against major lenders or senior executives for the events that led to the meltdown of 2007. Finding hard evidence has proved difficult, the Justice Department has said.

Dec 22, 2011

The watchdogs that didn’t bark

Dec 20 (Reuters) – Four years after the banking system
nearly collapsed from reckless mortgage lending, federal
prosecutors have stayed on the sidelines, even as judges around
the country are pointing fingers at possible wrongdoing.

The federal government, as has been widely noted, has
pressed few criminal cases against major lenders or senior
executives for the events that led to the meltdown of 2007.
Finding hard evidence has proved difficult, the Justice
Department has said.

Nov 30, 2011

Witness in LPS foreclosure case an apparent suicide

By Scot J. Paltrow

(Reuters) – A key witness in a Nevada criminal foreclosure fraud case who was found dead on Monday apparently committed suicide, individuals close to the investigation of her death said.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that police had found the body of Tracy Lawrence, a notary, in her Las Vegas apartment shortly after she failed to appear in court for sentencing on a misdemeanor count related to the case.