High-Ranking Obama Official Billed the Government for at Least 130 Taxi Rides

By Cameron Cawthorne

Vikrum Aiyer, the former chief of staff for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during the Obama administration, commuted from his home in Washington, D.C. to the agency’s headquarters in downtown Alexandria, Va., by calling a taxi and then billing the government for each ride.

Aiyer commuted across the Potomac River 10 miles or so to work on at least 130 occasions over the course of two years, the majority during a four-month stretch in 2016, the Washington Post reported.

And then, according to a report released Tuesday by the inspector general for the Commerce Department and people familiar with the investigation, Aiyer billed the government for each ride.

To escape notice, Aiyer impersonated current and former high-level agency officials, writing their names on cab receipts and vouchers he submitted to the taxi company, which then billed the government, investigators found.

One of those officials was the Patent and Trademark Office’s then-communications director, whose supervisors eventually confronted him on his apparent taxi usage. In response, he noted that he regularly drove to work and his car was in the agency’s parking garage.

Prior to resigning with thousands of other Obama political appointees before Donald Trump took …read more

Source:: Washington Free Beacon