Emergency FEMA Funding Went to Old Casino

By Elizabeth Harrington

Federal Emergency Management Agency grants meant for disaster relief ended up going to unauthorized casino repairs and a $300,000 “bonus” to a contractor, according to a new audit by the inspector general.

The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security questioned roughly $14 million awarded to the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa for flood damage in 2011. The audit, released last week, found “serious and pervasive” mishandling of federal funds by the tribe.

“The Omaha Tribe’s accounting system and supporting documentation were so unreliable and in such disarray that the only amounts we were able to verify with any degree of confidence were $2.8 million of unneeded funds; $165,000 of unclaimed insurance coverage; and about $74,749 of eligible and supported costs,” the inspector general said. “We question the remaining $13.9 million as unsupported.”

The office of inspector general said it had “little confidence” in any transactions the tribe listed in its accounting system.

The Omaha Tribe spent $168,764 in taxpayer funding for “ineligible expenditures to repair its old casino” and awarded $312,282 to itself as a “bonus.”

FEMA had approved building a new casino, making funds on repairing an old casino ineligible. The Omaha Tribe had money left over …read more

Source:: Washington Free Beacon