Pension Bailout Agency Flagged for Contract Bribery, Fraud and Payments to Dead Americans

American flag with handcuffs and $100 bills

This week’s Golden Horseshoe award goes to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the nation’s pension bailout agency that is still reeling from revelations its chief of contracting engaged in a bribery scheme that steered $4.8 million in fraudulent business to a vendor in return for more than $1 million in personal benefits.

The bribery scheme involving the now convicted director of PBGC’s Procurement Department was possible because the agency suffered from several vulnerabilities, including reduced competition among vendors, missing legal reviews and sole-source contracts that evaded bidding designed to get taxpayers the best bargain, the PBGC’s inspector general reported.

“His actions were enabled by internal control weaknesses; specifically, inadequate oversight of PD procurements and a lack of a control mechanism to ensure that PD sent all requisite contract actions for legal review,” the inspector general reported. “Although PBGC began requiring that more contract actions receive legal review after the PD Director resigned in February 2020, it does not have a mechanism to ensure PD complies with this requirement.”

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Commentary: A Cautionary Tale of Unintended Consequences

For as long as politicians have been passing legislation, there have been measurable consequences to that legislation – both intentional and unintentional. Usually, the final impact is not known for years after a law is passed. We could write a book predicting problems with the proposed federal bill, H.R.1, the so-called For the People Act, but the state of Connecticut has given American taxpayers a timely preview of the burdens and waste we can expect from just one of the bill’s many government mandates. Specifically, the requirement that states must mail out ballot applications to all registered voters will unnecessarily spend, and ultimately waste, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The 2020 elections in Connecticut provide a cautionary preview of this proposed requirement in H.R. 1 to send absentee ballot applications (ABR) to every registered voter. Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill (pictured) did exactly that, spending $7.1 million in federal taxpayer money sending out unsolicited ABRs for the primary and general elections. A total of 3.6 million applications were mailed, yet only 865,000 were converted to actual votes. That’s a cost of $8.20 per ballot returned – by any measure, a poor yield on that investment.

The sad irony about this waste of taxpayers’ money is that the applications were available to voters free of charge either at town halls or on the State of Connecticut website. One had only to pick up the form in person or download and print it in the comfort of his own home. Other states have similarly convenient options for obtaining ABRs and provide for ballot applications to be requested online, by email or by phone. Citizens in these states take responsibility for their right to vote, and the states facilitate their doing so, rather than mandate it.

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Kemp Suspends Embattled Mayor After Fraud, Identity Theft Charges

Gregory Carswell Jr.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has suspended Waynesboro Mayor Gregory Carswell Jr. from office after the mayor’s indictment on felony fraud, forgery and theft charges.

Carswell, an evangelical pastor, was elected mayor of the city outside of Augusta in 2017. He was indicted in December on one count of identity fraud, one count of theft by taking, one count of theft by deception and one count of forgery in the second degree. Carswell announced May 17 he was taking a leave of absence as mayor because of his legal troubles and personal issues.

“Of course, you know we have legal issues that are going on, and we want to deal with those, and we want the citizens to have the full confidence and trust and knowing the people they elected are going to do the best things for them,” Carswell said at the May 17 city council meeting.

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Conviction of Disgraced Florida Democrat Overturned on Appeal

Corrine Brown

A former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida Thursday won an appeal of her 2017 conviction for corruption, according to several reports. 

Former Democrat Rep. Corrine Brown, who represented Florida’s Fifth and Third Congressional Districts over a period of nearly 25 years, had her conviction overturned after the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the District Court wrongly dismissed a juror after learning that the “Holy Spirit” told him Brown was not guilty of the crimes. 

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Disparate Treatment in Two Fund-Raising Fraud Cases Renews Debate Over Dual Justice System

Just a few short weeks apart, the U.S. Justice Department settled two major fund-raising cases involving foreign money injected into American elections.

In February, a longtime Democratic bundler named Imaad Zuberi, who also donated to Donald Trump’s inauguration, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and millions in fines in a criminal information that alleged he routed foreign money into U.S elections, sometimes through straw donors.

Last week, Nigerian-Lebanese billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, 75, a large donor to the Clinton Foundation, got a fine, no prison and deferred prosecution for allegedly routing his foreign money to straw donors to help Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and some GOP congressional candidates. An associate also made a secret loan to Obama-era Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who failed to disclose the assistance.

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Crom Carmichael Discusses Two Interesting Stories Out of California Regarding Bad Government and Broken Constraints

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss two articles citing California’s bad government and Chinese infiltration.

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Ballot Transfer Forms Show Cobb County Violated Georgia Election Rule Requiring Absentee Ballots from Drop Boxes ‘Be Immediately Transported to the County Registrar’

A review of drop box ballot transfer forms reveals that Cobb County violated the Rules of the State Election Board for Absentee Voting that requires absentee ballots from drop box locations be “immediately transported” to the county registrar.

Specifically, the Rules of the State Election Board of the Georgia Election Code Chapter 183-1 for Absentee Voting states, “The ballots from the drop box shall be immediately transported to the county registrar and processed and stored in the same manner as absentee ballots returned by mail are processed and stored.”

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Commentary: Fraud, Evidence, Proof, Power

The Trump campaign alleges that massive voter fraud, especially perpetrated by computer software, is responsible for the widely published figures indicating Joe Biden won the presidential election. Consensus has spread from the Left, through the Republican establishment (e.g. the Wall Street Journal) to honest Tucker Carlson, that the Trump team has presented no proof and, absent that, must concede. But even the few who adhere to that consensus honestly do so based on neglect of law, facts, and even of the English language. 

For Trump’s highly paid lawyers, there is no excuse whatsoever to submit to that expectation.

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Tenney-Brindisi Race and Notes Big Change in the Republican Party

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to weigh in on the ongoing Upstate New York House race and how the Republican Party will be very different.

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True the Vote Requests Election Data from Michigan Departments

A voters’ rights organization aimed at protecting American elections has requested data from several Michigan departments to determine the possibility of illegal votes counted in the 2020 election.

True the Vote, which is aimed at ensuring election integrity, has requested data from the Michigan Department of State, Michigan Department of Corrections and Wayne, Washtenaw and Ingham Counties.

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Two Michigan Residents Charged with Defrauding $1.8 Million in Unemployment Scam

Two Michigan residents have been charged in a criminal complaint for their alleged role in defrauding $1.8 million in unemployment benefits from the state.

Jermaine Rose, 41, is an employee of the State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency whose duties include processing and verifying the legitimacy of unemployment insurance claims. Beginning in May, Rose allegedly used his employee access to authorize payment on hundreds of fraudulent claims, specifically overriding “fraud stops” on claims that had been flagged by the state computer system as potentially fraudulent.

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Michigan Investigates Alleged Shakedown By Unemployment Agency Workers Accused of Stealing Benefits

The State of Michigan is investigating whether new employees of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) are stealing funds from jobless residents, multiple media outlets report.

The workers are accused of stealing and charging clients to receive their benefits more quickly, WDIV reported. This is happening even as Michigan is among several states experiencing fraudulent claims being submitted, and they temporarily stopped payments.

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Criminals Stealing Unemployment Benefits as Claims Surge

Criminals are seizing on a surge in job losses to steal unemployment benefits from Americans nationwide. This complicates an already tough situation for millions of financially strapped Americans and overwhelmed state unemployment offices.

While there’s no exact measure of how many fraudulent claims have been made, states from Washington to Maine say they’ve seen an increase and numerous federal agencies are working to fight it.

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EXCLUSIVE: King of Boston Talk Radio Howie Carr Chats with Leahy About Elizabeth Warren’s Nerve in Speaking to Native Americans After Falsifying Heritage

  On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy chatted with good friend Howie Carr, known as the king of Boston talk radio, about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent speech…

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State Sen. Dickerson, Others in Pain Management Business Sued By United States, Tennessee for Allegedly Committing $25M in Medicare, TennCare Fraud

  State Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-TN-20) is among those being sued by the federal government and Tennessee over alleged Medicare and TennCare fraud totaling at least $25 million. The United States and Tennessee on Monday filed a consolidated complaint in intervention alleging violations of the False Claims Act and the…

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Feds Plan to Add State Rep. Dickerson to Pain Management Company Fraud Lawsuit, Reports Say

  A federal judge has granted prosecutors’ requests to intervene in whistleblower complaints against Comprehensive Pain Specialists (CPS), and Tennessee Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-TN-20) is being added as a defendant, multiple media outlets report. Judge Aleta Trauger of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted…

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Lawyer Avenatti Charged in California with US Fraud, Tax Crimes

Lawyer Michael Avenatti was charged with 36 counts of fraud, tax evasion, identity theft and other financial crimes in an indictment made public by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on Thursday. The indictment came about three weeks after Avenatti, best known for representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her…

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RNC Slams Elizabeth Warren as ‘Total Fraud’ Amid 2020 Presidential Speculation

by Henry Rodgers   Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called Sen. Elizabeth Warren a “total fraud” Monday, the day the Massachusetts Democrat announced she was forming a presidential exploratory committee. In a fiery statement from the RNC, McDaniel called out Warren for her “phony claim to minority status,”…

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Missouri Federal Grand Jury Indicts 14 in Home Health Care Scam

A fraud scheme perpetrated on taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid began to unravel with an anonymous tip alerting officials “that some Iraqis were fraudulently receiving home care services,” says a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report from earlier this month. Investigators examined billing records from several home health care companies that provide services to the…

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Russian Nationals Indicted in North Carolina on Immigration Fraud, Murder for Hire Charges

Five Russian nationals were indicted on Wednesday in the Eastern District of North Carolina, according to a Department of Justice press release. The five are charged with “federal crimes stemming from a bribery and kickback scheme, including money laundering, immigration fraud, and a subsequent murder for hire plot.” Leonid Teyf, 57,…

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Lancaster County Will Be Pennsylvania’s First Investigative Target Under New Program to Tackle Welfare Fraud

The Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced last week that they are joining forces to tackle welfare fraud, specifically food-stamp fraud. Commonly referred to as the food-stamp program, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has increasingly become a concern among law-enforcement officials.…

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Attorney General Sessions Announces Charges For 601 People In Largest Health Care Fraud Bust In History

by Steve Birr   Federal officials are charging 601 people, including more than 100 medical workers, for fueling opioid addiction in the largest bust of health care fraud in U.S. history. The Department of Justice revealed the charges Thursday, which were brought as part of an annual effort to dismantle…

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