Baltimore States Attorney Who Made $247,955 Was Just Indicted by the Feds
January 31, 2022
On January 14, 2022, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby was federally indicted on four charges, including alleged perjury for falsely claiming a COVID-19 hardship on applications to withdraw $90,000 from her retirement account. It was a move prosecutors allege that allowed her penalty free withdrawals—a policy meant for those experiencing COVID hardships.
The reporting from Fox45 Baltimore detailed the charges.
The feds charged Mosby with two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements on mortgage loan applications. Those two mortgages were for a home in Kissimmee, Fla., and a condo in Long Boat Key, Fla.
According to prosecutors, Mosby failed to disclose a $45,022 federal tax lien on her and her husband on both of the applications. Her defense attorney claims she couldn’t have lied because she didn’t know the lien existed.
It’s alleged that Mosby represented that the house in Kissimmee would be used as a personal vacation home to get a lower interest rate on the mortgage, However, a week before, she signed documents turning over control of the property to a vacation home management company.
Regarding the perjury charges, prosecutors allege she lied on paperwork for a $40,000 and a $50,000 withdrawal from her retirement account -- certifying that she faced financial hardship from the pandemic. However, records show she continued to collect her biweekly pay for her $247,955 salary without any interruption for the entirety of 2020.
It’s alleged that Mosby used the $90,000 withdrawn from her retirement account to invest in two properties in Florida.
Maybe Mosby is telling the truth, and she’s really innocent. Of course, she’s the top law enforcement officer in Baltimore and a lawyer by training.
Nonprofit Advocacy Group Received $158 Million to Help Immigrants Skirt Deportation
February 1, 2022
The U.S. government entered into a $158 million contract with the Vera Institute of Justice to “provide immigration related legal services to unaccompanied minors.” While the federal government often engages in the contracting and funding of nonprofits, they typically try to avoid dealing with overtly political institutions. Not this time.
The Vera Institute for Justice is an overtly political, leftwing nonprofit organization. According to Jason Hopkins, an investigative associate with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, they are “a behemoth progressive nonprofit based out of New York City with well over a $140 million budget, which they use to fund a slate of progressive causes and initiatives across the country.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with political nonprofits. Both the right and the left have scores of them, though most receive their funding from private donors, not government contracts.
The Vera Institute, however, had nearly $137 million of its $174 million (78.7%) of total revenue from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 come from government contracts, according to the Fox News investigation.
The purpose of the grant is to provide legal services to unaccompanied minors.
You may wonder why public defenders are not suited for the job. According to the Vera Institute, because they are not citizens, immigrants facing deportation are not entitled to public defenders. To fix this, the Vera Institute has created an entire workaround to U.S. law where, even though illegal immigrants aren’t entitled to free legal representation, the government still pays for it through organizations like the Vera Institute.
That’s a pretty savvy business model.
While the merits of this grant are controversial, one thing that shouldn’t be is the government funding overtly partisan institutions. A nonprofit that espouses views like defunding the police and releasing all illegal immigrants from ICE detention shouldn’t be funded with $150 million in taxpayer money.
Federal Agencies Spent Over $550 Million to Add Cost-Of-Living Adjustments—Even When They Weren't Necessary
February 2, 2022
The federal government, like many private companies that have offices in different locations, has provisions to adjust employees’ pay based on their location. It’s called locality pay.
For example, an employee in San Francisco, Calif. has a significantly higher cost of living than an employee in Casper, Wyo. San Francisco’s locality adjustment is an additional 41.44% of base pay.
But what about Casper, Wyo.? Well, despite being designated as a base category with the lowest cost of living, they still get a 16.2-percent pay increase from their base pay.
That’s right, no matter where they live, every employee is guaranteed at least a 16.2-percent bonus each year.
Instead of normalizing cost of living adjustments based off a 0-percent adjustment for someone living in an area that does not require a pay increase, that category, named “Rest of U.S.” still receives an additional 16.2-percent on their base pay as a federal employee.
So how much money does this cost taxpayers?
According to GeneralSchedule.org, a nonprofit that provides information about the government pay scale, there are 44,329 federal employees that work in the “Rest of U.S.” locality. The average federal employee salary in 2020 was $76,667.77. Therefore, 16.2-percent of the average 2020 salary amounts to $12,420.18 per employee in extra compensation based on the Rest of US designation.
Those 44,329 federal employees times the extra $12,420.18 per employee equals a total of $550,574,159. All that extra money for employees who don’t need a salary adjustment.
This free bonus is ridiculous. If the government decides it needs to pay its workers more, it should legislatively adjust the base bay of federal workers instead of playing tricks with the cost-of-living adjustment.
Throwback Thursday – Feds Paid $610,000 to Install a Wave-Making Machine at a Salt Lake City Pool
February 3, 2022
What better way to spent $145,000 in 1978 — $610,000 in 2021 dollars — in a desert city than to install a wave-making machine in a specially designed Olympic sized swimming pool?
The money was doled out by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.
It’s for that wasteful and nonsensical spending that Sen. William Proxmire, a Democrat from Wisconsin, gave a Golden Fleece award to the department.
“It can be said that for the first time, federal bureaucrats are making waves,” Proxmire said when giving the award. “In the meantime, the taxpayers are getting soaked.”
The four-foot surf created by the machine “will provide a recreation experience not available in an inland society — an experience of the rushing water of a river or wave action you can only get at the ocean,” local officials said at the time.
“Based on this rationale, hard-pressed taxpayers will next be asked to fund ski slopes in Florida, mountain scenery in Indiana, igloos in Death Valley, or tropical rain forests in Wisconsin,” Proxmire quipped.
The 180-foot long, 17,500 square-foot wave pool was part of a larger project that includes a marina, boat ramp, bath house, and parking lot, costing more than $1 million.
“This project is merely one of a number of surf making machines paid for in whole or in part by the federal government,” Proxmire said. “So, the overburdened taxpayer is drowned in the undertow of federal spending. And other projects similar to the Salt Lake City project have been approved for construction in Kentucky and Mississippi, according to Bureau of Outdoor Recreation officials.”
U.S. State Department Is Spending $11.3 Million to Encourage the Vietnamese Not to Burn Their Trash
February 4, 2022
In keeping with one of the president's key promises on the campaign trail, the Joe Biden's administration has prioritized environmental education as one of its key objectives. He has also incorporated this into U.S. diplomatic missions abroad. In Vietnam, the U.S. State Department posted a grant for $11.3 million dollars to encouraging people in Vietnam not to burn their trash and to recycle.
In his annual Waste Report, Sen. Rand Paul’s office found that the purpose of this grant was to “reduce environmental pollution in targeted areas across Vietnam” and to get kids to “influence households’ improved environmental decision-making.” The grant also included provisions to increase pollution data collection and improve enforcement of existing laws to help ultimately improve air and water quality.
Vietnam ranks 21st in the world in air pollution, with only a moderate amount, according to IQAir. Combatting air pollution in Vietnam would certainly be nice, but it is hardly the most pressing issue facing the U.S. or Vietnam.
With $11.3 million, the U.S. could have told China to stop building coal-fired electrical plants. China has nearly 1,100 coal electrical plants in operation.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.