From the Office of the Inspector General. With $54 billion in annual expenditures, it's no wonder they uncover so much fraud:

Contract and Grant Fraud Reading Room

One of the strategic goals of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is to "Advance America's economic growth and competitiveness domestically and internationally through efficient and flexible transportation." In support of this goal, DOT spends more than $54 billion a year on transportation related projects in virtually every community in the nation.

House and Senate conferees are currently working on a six-year renewal of the Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21)with proposed spending authority of $299 billion to rebuild the Nation's surface transportation infrastructure. Another program, The Aviation Investment and Reform Act (AIR-21) will commit an additional $40 billion for modernization and stability of our nation's aviation systems. To protect the integrity of these and other transportation-related programs against fraud, waste, and abuse, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Department's criminal investigative element, has made investigating contract and grant fraud one of its top priorities.

From the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset SIGTARP Relief Program Quarterly Report dated April 2009, "Both from the Hotline and from other leads, SIGTARP has initiated, to date, almost 20 preliminary and full criminal investigations. Although the details of those investigations generally will not be discussed unless and until public action is taken, the cases vary widely in subject matter and include large corporate and securities fraud matters affecting TARP investments, tax matters, insider trading, public corruption, and mortgage-modifi- cation fraud."

Some good news from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (click here for the entire report).  See Table 4.5 for a list of charges/convictions.

Custer-Battles Decision

On April 10, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a contractor found to have committed fraud in Iraq could not avoid paying damages by claiming on jurisdictional grounds, that the False Claims Act did not apply to its dealings with the CPA. The Fourth Circuit ruling reversed a district court decision that set aside a jury’s verdict in 2006 finding that the contractor must pay about $10 million in damages and penalties to the U.S. government and two whistle-blowers.41 The decision removes a potential obstacle to ongoing and future SIGIR investigations.

More investigations are under way: SIGIR Investigations continues to pursue allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse in Iraq reconstruction, with 80 open investigations. SIGIR has 6 investigative personnel assigned to Baghdad; 13 at SIGIR headquarters in Arlington, Virginia; and 13 in offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Michigan to support investigations in those areas. To date, the work of SIGIR investigators has resulted in 20 arrests, 24 indictments, 18 convictions, and more than $35 million in fines, forfeitures, recoveries, and restitution.

The largest (to date) health care fraud against the government.  Columbia/HCA Settles Fraud Charge  agreed to pay the government $745 million to settle allegations of billing fraud.

The list of fraud against government programs is endless and as long as their are people handling money, there will always be someone trying to and succeeding in defrauding the public coffers.

The government is no less susceptible to fraud than everyday Americans.