GAO releases report on fraud in disabled veterans program

The Government Accountability Office released a report last week detailing the many instance of fraud that have plagued a VA program aimed at helping disabled veterans.

The Service-Disabled-Veteran-Owned Small Business Program was created in 2003 with the goal of helping disabled veterans secure government contracts. Last year, the program gave out half as much money as intended and now the public is learning that disabled veterans weren’t always the beneficiaries.

Fraud in the program took place when some veterans falsely claimed they had a service-connected disability (as required) or weren’t the true owners of a business applying for contracts under the program. It is estimated that $100 million in contracts was awarded to businesses that did not meet the eligibility requirements of the program. To date there have been no sanctions in place for those who are found to be ineligible, prompting lawmakers to propose new regulations that would allow for fines and jail time.