$50M Embezzlement
at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue

Report on Embezzlement Blames 'Culture of Apathy and Silence'
By David Nakamura and Hamil R. Harris
Washington Post, 2008-12-16, page B4

[The beginning of the article; emphasis is added.]

Former D.C. tax manager Harriette Walters was able to
embezzle more than $48 million over two decades
largely because a “culture of apathy and silence”
pervaded the District government’s finance office,
according to a report released yesterday.

The 122-page document was the culmination of
a year-long investigation by the law firm WilmerHale,
which was hired by the D.C. Council
to conduct an independent review of the tax office scandal.


[Is it not a surprise, if not a shame,
that the Post placed such an important overview and explanation
of such a gigantic fraud agaist the taxpayers of D.C.
on page B4, well inside the Metro section?
Yes, of course there have been many previous stories on this situation,
but this contains some significant new (to me, anyhow) details, e.g.:]

After the embezzlement scheme was uncovered by federal law enforcement agents in November 2007,
one employee told her boss that

no one had raised concerns about Walters because
“snitches get stitches.”

[That suggests that employees reporting fraud
cannot be assured that their reports will be treated with confidence,
a most unfortunate, but, for D.C., rather plausible, prospect.]

Labels: ,