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Homeland Security spends $30,000 on Starbucks Coffee

I guess violating our rights requires a lot of caffeine......

Some federal employees get credit cards from their agencies allowing them to spend up to $3,000 on "micro" purchases. The idea is to enable employees to purchase things like office supplies without having to file paperwork.

It may seem sensible to not force federal employees to fill out a bunch of forms every time they buy a box of pens but (surprise!) some federal employees have been abusing the cards by using them to pay for gym memberships, haircuts, and movie tickets.

Some Department of Homeland Security employee's even used their cards to purchase $30,000 worth of Starbucks coffee. One DHS office in California purchased $12,000 worth of Starbucks coffee to stock a Coast Guard "Cutter."  By making these purchases via credit card the DHS avoided having to solicit bids from other coffee providers, some of whom may be cheaper than Starbucks.

Many of the DHS employee's Starbucks purchases where for just below $3,000 suggesting the employees where actively working to avoid having to disclose their coffee purchases. Hmmm, this seems a lot like "structuring."  As I blogged about last week, structuring is considered a violation of federal money laundering laws, so it is a good thing that these Starbucks fans work the DHS otherwise the IRS might want to have a word with them.

More information on the abuse of government credit cards available here.

 


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