January 28th, 2010
10:44 AM ET
4 years ago

Stimulus 'fraud will occur'

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Kentucky construction magnate Leonard Lawson is on trial this week in Lexington federal court for allegedly bribing the state's Transportation secretary during the past decade to win big highway and road projects. But that didn't stop Lawson family companies from winning $24-million dollars in federal Recovery Act contracts!

Though Leonard Lawson pled not guilty, companies with ties to Lawson should have been suspended from bidding for stimulus work within 45 days of his indictment on bribery, theft and obstruction of justice charges, according to a Department of Transportation rule. But, it took the Transportation Department 10-months to act - after the Lawson firms had won the contracts.

"I really think that's a shame and a disgrace," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. "When people see folks getting away and getting contracts even after they've been indicted, that to me does not help in terms of us to get rid of waste fraud and abuse."

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Filed under: CNNMoney.com • Stimulus
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. IndepndentAmerican

    Where there is money there is always the possibility of fraud.

    Do you think that under Bush or Reagan there was no fraud? Of course, there was.

    Question is what is the government going to do, to keep fraud at a minimum?

    January 28, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. southerncousin

    Since the "stimulus" itself was a fraud, created by the big fraud in the White House to defraud the American people of their hard earned tax money in a fraudulent effort to pay back the fraudulent, corrrupt unions and fraudulent left wing organizations, it cannot help being a fraud. This is not news. The rest of the country knew this a year ago.

    January 28, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Just like fraud occurs whenever greedy, unethical, criminal people are involved – you know, basically every human endeavor. And not just in the governmental sector; I vaguely remember a company called "Enron" that did some fancy cooking of its books and bilked hundreds of thousands of people out of the life's savings.

    But instead of throwing up our hands and quitting (Palin’s got that cornered, anyway), let's work to minimize it through transparency, oversight and aggressive penalties (including jail time) for those who commit the fraud.

    January 28, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Probably friends with McConnell too.

    January 28, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Average American

    If fraud occurs it should be caught and people prosecuted. Just because there are some unethical business people doesn't mean we should toss up our hands an do nothing to help the unemployed in America.

    January 28, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    Stimulus Fraud is evil. Haliburton war profits is an acceptable loss of fighting a war. Kinda like collateral damage w/Iraqi or Afghan civilians.

    January 28, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Wherever there is government money there will always be the same old crooks circling like sharks. The biggest problem is the local officials who are in bed with these crooks who need oversight and until that happens it will continue to be business as usual.

    January 28, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Todd

    Does anyone think that with 768 BILLION on the table there will not be criminals who wil try to get som of it? For crying out loud, there are people who defraud old people out of meager ritrement savings, creeps who set up frauds during disaster relief. People who steal from kids, from the poor (corporations usually) why would you think there would ever be zero fraud in any program this large? People will try to cheat. If they did not we would have no use for government. Madison said as much in the Federalist.

    January 28, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Tommygunn

    Checks and balance mean BIG GOVERNMENT or BIG BUSINESS lobbying to manage the system.

    In any case BIG something is HAPPENING.

    Check out the REPUBLICAN small government means BIG BUSINESS. It also means a few get all the government business (for an example HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES, WALL STREET BANKS).

    Check out the DEMOCRATs who's going to manage the GOVERNMENT concerns on our behalf, the GOVERNMENT. It also means BIG GOVERNMENT.

    In the case of BIG....DEMOCRATs and REPUBLICANs need to listen to the people, sound strategist and economist but BUREAUCRATs eveningly BALANCED between the two entities (gvt/business).

    January 28, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. Scott, Tucson

    Yes stimulus fraud will occur...it's called ACORN and Democrats trying to edge their chances for reelection.

    January 28, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Chispter

    I guess the keyword in this article is "allegedly." Why did CNN use that word? They used it for the same reason that the charges could not be used against the companies. Until proved, the companies are not guilty. We live in a nation where the law is "innocent until proven guilty." CNN says "allegedly" because they must assume innocence and the government cannot assume guilt that hasn't been proven.

    The companies "with ties to Lawson" – whatever that means – may have done nothing illegal at all. I don't believe the DOT rules say that anyone "with ties to" a suspect is not qualify. That's pretty vague, CNN. Lawson was not awarded any Recovery Act funds or contracts.

    I just got a whiff of Faux News!

    January 28, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Obama - worse Presidet ever.

    Obama is just as corrupt as the rest of the democrats.

    January 28, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Fed Up

    The answer here is simple: Make it an act of treason to commit fraud against the people, and then lock these traitors away in a military brig stripped of all constitutional rights for the remainder of their lives!

    January 28, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. B

    This is the reality of human behavior going on and why the President wants more over-site and regulation on Banks and finance in general, including aid and support in the stimulus program.

    We have had total deregulation on everything with the predictable result of uncontrolled greed and graft taking over.

    This is why we put locks on doors, to keep honest people honest..

    January 28, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |