How Could So Many Crooks Have Managed to Scam the National Security Agency?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011
One of the United States’ most sophisticated spy agencies can find the likes of Osama bin Laden, but it can’t identify those defrauding it before it’s too late.
According to the Baltimore Sun, at least 11 individuals have been charged within the past five years of bilking the National Security Agency (NSA). At least nine of the defendants were brought up on charges within the past two years, even though some of the alleged crimes took place two decades ago.
“If it wasn’t so sad it would be very funny,” Matthew Aid, author of The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency, told the Sun. “This stuff goes on all the time. NSA is just so awash in money, and it has so few people who actually know how to manage programs” that the agency has become a target for crooks, Aid added.
Among the most recent cases:
·       Ann Warwick, an employee for intelligence analyst subcontractor Business Consulting Technology LLC, pleaded guilty to falsely billing for an extra 836 hours of work.
·       Jeffrey Mark Harmon, an employee of Berg Bros. Recycling, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and 6 months home detention for conspiring to bribe NSA employee Robert Barry Adcock to obtain a waste removal contract. Adcock, along with company owner Adam Wayne Berg, will be sentenced this week.
·       William Turley and his son Donald are charged with overbilling the NSA by $1.5 million over an 11-year period. William’s daughter, Christina Turley Knott, has also been charged in the case. They have all pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
The NSA has been characterized by some analysts as an agency that grew too fast after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In addition, President George W. Bush forced the NSA to expand its mission to include warrantless domestic eavesdropping of American citizens, a practice that was prohibited by U.S. law. As billions of dollars a year poured into the agency, it repeatedly failed to fix management problems.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Crooks Target National Security Agency (by Tricia Bishop, Baltimore Sun)


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