From Yahoo News –
“A small South Carolina parts supplier collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to a Texas base, U.S. officials said.”
Basically, they found out that if they marked an order as ‘priority’ in the Pentagon’s online part ordering system, it would be automatically accepted without any oversight. Over the course of 6 years, they shipped only $68,000 in parts, and netted over $20 million in profits. They weren’t caught until someone noticed the huge amount for 2 washers, and actually thought to look at the order history for that company.
One person has plead guilty to charges of fraud, been banned from receiving government contracts in the future, and faces 20 years in prison. The government hopes to recoup costs by auctioning off a wide variety of items & property that was purchased using the illicit proceeds.