U.S. paid $1 million to ship two 19-cent washers

Stacked coinsThe U.S. Defense Department said on Thursday that a flawed system designed to rush supplies to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan let a small-parts supplier improperly collect $998,798.38 to ship two 19-cent washers.

Loopholes in the automated purchasing system have been fixed and the ill-gotten gains were being returned to the U.S. Treasury, said Army Lt. Col. Brian Maka, a Pentagon spokesman.

The lock-washer incident was the last in a series of abuses by twin sisters running a South Carolina company that bilked the Pentagon out of about $20.5 million in fraudulent shipping costs, federal prosecutors said after obtaining guilty pleas earlier in the day.

Source: Washington Post
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