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Navy Study Finds Abuse of Credit Cards by Enlisted Sailors

October 08, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Navy personnel used government credit cards to hire prostitutes at brothels, buy jewelry, gamble and attend New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers games in fraudulent purchases exceeding $200,000, congressional investigators have found.

Enlisted personnel earning between $12,000 and $27,000 a year were the biggest abusers, but the Navy bears responsibility for failure to monitor the travel card program, the General Accounting Office concluded.

The GAO report was prepared for a House hearing today and obtained Monday by Associated Press.

The study shows the abuses continued months after investigators publicly reported on problems with the cards. From October 2000 through March, the new survey found 1,180 Navy transactions for personal items totaling $206,700.

The Pentagon has stepped up its efforts to control use of the cards. About 400,000 inactive accounts that were unused have been canceled. Those who abused the cards have had money involuntarily deducted from their paychecks.

The Navy study also found use of the cards to obtain cash at adult clubs, money normally used to tip dancers, waitresses and bartenders.

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