Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sublime to Ridiculous

There can be little more aggravating than people who cheat charities, though the history of such activity is long and ugly. WaPo has just posted news that some 50 people have been indicted for defrauding the Red Cross of Katrina relief funds and this activity appears to have been centered in Bakersfield, Ca.
Seventeen of the accused worked at the Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims across the country and authorized cash payments to them. The others were the workers' relatives and friends, prosecutors said last week.

The scam came to light when Red Cross officials noticed that a suspiciously high number of people were picking up Red Cross money at Western Union outlets near the Bakersfield center, even though few evacuees were in the area.
An intial round of 15 indictments had been made back in October but this round more than triples those made earlier. Though the program has been shutdown now, even more indictments are expected. Several hundred thousand dollars were shunted to call center workers, friends and family.

Oh, humanity! Is there no limit to our wanton greed? no barrier to our scheming avarice?


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