December 6, 2021

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Two Former Tennessee Correctional Officers Sentenced for Civil Rights Offenses

9 min read
<div>Two former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) Correctional Officers were sentenced today for assaulting an inmate in violation of a federal civil rights statute. </div>
Two former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) Correctional Officers were sentenced today for assaulting an inmate in violation of a federal civil rights statute. 

More from: June 17, 2021

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  • Religious Freedom Concerns in Russia
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • U.S. Sanctions International Network Enriching Houthis in Yemen
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  • Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq: Conditions in Iraq Are Conducive to Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
    In U.S GAO News
    This testimony discusses some of the systemic conditions in Iraq that contribute to the fraud, waste, or abuse of U.S.-provided funds. Since 2003, DOD has reported total costs of about $257.5 billion for military operations in Iraq; these have increased from about $38.8 billion in fiscal year 2003 to about $83.4 billion in fiscal year 2006. The largest increase has been in operation and maintenance expenses, including items such as support for housing, food, and services; the repair of equipment; and transportation of people, supplies and equipment. Many of the operation and maintenance expenses are for services. Other U.S. government agencies had reported obligations of $29 billion for Iraqi reconstruction and stabilization, as of October 2006. These funds have been used for, among other things, infrastructure repair of the electricity, oil, water, and health sectors; training and equipping of the Iraqi security forces; and administrative expenses. Specifically, the testimony focuses on (1) security, (2) management and reporting of the program to train and equip Iraqi security forces, (3) contracting and contract management activities, and (4) Iraqi capacity and commitment to manage and fund reconstruction and security efforts.Despite U.S. and Iraqi efforts to shift a greater share of the country's defense on Iraqi forces, the security situation continues to deteriorate. Poor security conditions have hindered the management of the more than $29 billion that has been obligated for reconstruction and stabilization efforts since 2003. Although the State Department has reported that the number of Iraqi army and police forces that has been trained and equipped has increased from about 174,000 in July 2005 to about 323,000 in December 2006, overall security conditions in Iraq have deteriorated and grown more complex. These conditions have hindered efforts to engage with Iraqi partners and demonstrate the difficulty in making political and economic progress in the absence of adequate security conditions. GAO's ongoing work has identified weaknesses in the $15.4 billion program to support the development and sustainment of Iraqi security forces. Sectarian divisions have eroded the dependability of many Iraqi units, and a number of Iraqi units have refused to serve outside the areas where they were recruited. Corruption and infiltration by militias and others loyal to parties other than the Iraqi government have resulted in the Iraqi security forces being part of the problem in many areas instead of the solution. While unit-level transition readiness assessments (TRA) provide important information on Iraqi security force capabilities, the aggregate reports DOD provides to Congress based on these assessments do not provide adequate information to judge the capabilities of Iraqi forces. The DOD reports do not detail the adequacy of Iraqi security forces' manpower, equipment, logistical support, or training and may overstate the number of forces on duty. Congress will need additional information found in the TRAs to assess DOD's supplemental request for funds to train and equip Iraqi security forces. DOD's heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq, its long-standing contract and contract management problems, and poor security conditions provide opportunities for fraud, waste, and abuse. First, military commanders and senior DOD leaders do not have visibility over the total number of contractors who are supporting deployed forces in Iraq. As we have noted in the past, this limited visibility can unnecessarily increase costs to the government. Second, DOD lacks clear and comprehensive guidance and leadership for managing and overseeing contractors. In October 2005, DOD issued, for the first time, department-wide guidance on the use of contractors that support deployed forces. Although this guidance is a good first step, it does not address a number of problems we have repeatedly raised. Third, key contracting issues have prevented DOD from achieving successful acquisition outcomes. There has been an absence of well-defined requirements, and DOD has often entered into contract arrangements on reconstruction efforts and into contracts to support deployed forces that have posed additional risk to the government. Further, a lack of training hinders the ability of military commanders to adequately plan for the use of contractor support and inhibits the ability of contract oversight personnel to manage and oversee contracts and contractors in Iraq. Iraqi capacity and commitment to manage and fund reconstruction and security efforts remains limited. Key ministries face challenges in staffing a competent and non-partisan civil service, fighting corruption, and using modern technology. The inability of the Iraqi government to spend its 2006 capital budget also increases the uncertainty that it can sustain the rebuilding effort.
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  • Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Southern Florida Tax Return Preparer
    In Crime News
    The United States has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida seeking to bar a Belle Glade, Florida, tax return preparer from owning or operating a tax return preparation business and preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil suit against Brandhi Shaw alleges that Shaw prepares returns claiming false refundable fuel credits and American Opportunity tax credits. In addition, the complaint alleges that Shaw prepares returns claiming fabricated businesses income and/or expenses, and related fictitious losses. As a result, the complaint alleges Shaw offset the amount of taxable income reported to make it appear that her customers were entitled to earned income tax credits when they were not.
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  • The Scripps Research Institute To Pay $10 Million To Settle False Claims Act Allegations Related To Mischarging NIH-Sponsored Research Grants
    In Crime News
    The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has agreed to pay the U.S. $10 million to settle claims that it improperly charged NIH-funded research grants for time spent by researchers on non-grant related activities such as developing, preparing, and writing new grant applications, teaching, and engaging in other administrative activities, the Department of Justice announced today. 
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  • Florida Department of Children and Families Agrees to Pay $17.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability in Connection with SNAP Quality Control
    In Crime News
    The Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF) has agreed to pay to the United States $17,500,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in its administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Until 2008, SNAP was known as the Food Stamp Program. 
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  • Readout of Attorney General Merrick B. Garland’s Call with Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada
    In Crime News
    Attorney General Merrick B. Garland spoke yesterday with Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada. In their inaugural bilateral conversation, the leaders discussed their shared commitment to cooperating at the strategic level on a wide range of shared challenges and opportunities – from advancing policing and justice reform to countering the threats posed by domestic violent extremism.
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  • [Request for Reconsideration of Protest of Navy Contract Award for Base Support Services]
    In U.S GAO News
    A firm requested reconsideration of its dismissed protest of the Navy's decision to perform base operations and support services in-house rather than contract for these services, contending that the Navy's proposed corrective action failed to address all of its concerns. GAO held that it would not consider these issues, since the Navy's proposed corrective action may affect key requirements in the solicitation and render the protester's concerns academic. Accordingly, the request for reconsideration was denied.
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  • Vocational Rehabilitation: VA Has Opportunities to Improve Services, but Faces Significant Challenges
    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of Veterans Affairs' Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program has taken on heightened importance due, in large measure, to the number of servicemembers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with serious injuries and their need for vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance. This statement draws on over 20 years of GAO's reporting on VA's provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance to American veterans and focuses primarily on the results of two recent GAO reports. The first, issued in June 2004, commented on the report of the VA-sponsored VR&E Task Force, which performed a comprehensive review of VR&E activities and made extensive recommendations that, if implemented, would affect virtually every aspect of VR&E's operations. The second, issued in January 2005, focused on the steps VA has taken and the challenges it faces in providing services to seriously injured veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.The past year has presented the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an unprecedented opportunity to begin strengthening its provision of vocational rehabilitation and employment services to veterans. The VR&E Task Force has developed a blueprint for the changes needed to improve numerous programmatic and managerial aspects of VR&E's operations. We generally agree with the Task Force's three key findings. We also generally agree with the Task Force's key recommendations to streamline eligibility and entitlement, institute a new employment-driven service delivery process, expand counseling benefits, reorganize and increase VR&E staffing, and improve information technology capabilities and intra- and inter-agency coordination. VR&E faces three overriding challenges as it responds to the Task Force recommendations. First, providing early intervention assistance to injured servicemembers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq is complicated by (1) differences and uncertainties in the recovery process, which make it difficult for VR&E to determine when a servicemember will be able to consider its services; (2) the Department of Defense's (DOD) concerns that VA's outreach could work at cross purposes to the military's retention goals; and (3) lack of access to DOD data that would allow VA to readily identify and locate all seriously injured servicemembers. Second, VR&E needs to upgrade its information technology system. The Task Force report pointed out that VR&E's IT system is limited in its ability to produce useful reports. Third, VR&E needs to use new results-based criteria to evaluate and improve performance. The Task Force recommended that VR&E develop a new employment-oriented performance measurement system, including measures of sustained employment longer than 60 days. In fiscal year 2004, VR&E included four employment-based performance criteria in its performance and accountability report. However, as of February 2005, VR&E had not yet reported results using these longer-term measures.
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  • Boeing Charged with 737 Max Fraud Conspiracy and Agrees to Pay over $2.5 Billion
    In Crime News
    The Boeing Company (Boeing) has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve a criminal charge related to a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) in connection with the FAA AEG’s evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane.
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  • Singaporean Shipping Company Fined $12 Million in a Multi-District Case for Concealing Illegal Discharges of Oily Water and Garbage and a Hazardous Condition
    In Crime News
    Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), a Singapore-based company that owns subsidiaries engaged in international shipping, was sentenced today in federal court before U.S. District Court Judge Louise Flanagan in New Bern, North Carolina, after pleading guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice, and for a failure to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of a hazardous condition on the Motor Vessel (M/V) Pac Antares.
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  • Olympic Security: Better Planning Can Enhance U.S. Support to Future Olympic Games
    In U.S GAO News
    The 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, were the second Olympic Games to take place overseas since September 11, 2001. The United States worked with Italy to ensure the security of U.S. citizens, and it expects to continue such support for future Games, including the 2008 Games in Beijing, China. GAO was asked to (1) discuss the U.S. approach for providing security support for the 2006 Winter Games and how such efforts were coordinated, (2) identify the roles of U.S. agencies in providing security support for the Games and how they financed their activities, (3) review lessons learned in providing security support and the application of prior lessons learned, and (4) identify U.S. efforts under way for providing security support to the 2008 Beijing Games.In 2004, the United States began planning to provide a U.S. security presence in Italy and security support to the Italian government, and based much of its security strategy on its understanding of Italy's advanced security capabilities. The United States provided Italy with some security assistance, mostly in the form of crisis management and response support. To coordinate U.S. efforts, the U.S. Mission in Italy established an office in Turin as a central point for security information and logistics, and to provide consular services to U.S. citizens during the Games. The U.S. Ambassador to Italy, through the U.S. Consulate in Milan, coordinated and led U.S. efforts in-country, while the Department of State-chaired interagency working group in Washington, D.C., coordinated domestic efforts. While the interagency working group has been a useful forum for coordinating U.S. security support to overseas athletic events, State and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have indicated that formal guidance that articulates a charter; a mission; and agencies' authorities, roles, and responsibilities would help in planning for security support to future Games. Nearly 20 entities and offices within several U.S. agencies provided more than $16 million for security support activities for the Turin Games. The roles of these agencies--which included the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, and Energy--included providing crisis management and response support through personnel, equipment, and training and providing security advice and other assistance to U.S. athletes, spectators, and commercial investors. The U.S. Embassy in Rome initially paid for lodging and other administrative support needs, which were reimbursed by the participating agencies, although it struggled to do so. State and DOJ officials indicated that an interagency mechanism for identifying costs and addressing potential funding issues would be useful in providing U.S. security support to future Games. For the Turin Games, agencies applied key lessons learned from the 2004 Athens Games and identified additional lessons for future Games. Key lessons identified from the Turin Games included, the importance of establishing an operations center at the location of the Games, establishing clear roles and responsibilities for agencies in event planning and crisis response efforts, and planning early for several years of Olympic-related expenditures. These lessons learned were communicated by Washington, D.C.- and Italy-based personnel to their counterparts who are preparing for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The United States is currently taking steps to identify the types of security support that agencies may provide to support China's security efforts for the 2008 Summer Games and to ensure the safety of U.S. athletes, spectators, and commercial investors.
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  • Federal Prison Industries: Actions Needed to Evaluate Program Effectiveness
    In U.S GAO News
    The First Step Act of 2018 made new, nonfederal markets and potential buyers available to Federal Prison Industries (FPI), a government corporation organized within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP); however, various challenges could limit FPI's ability to sell to customers in these markets. FPI makes apparel, personal protective equipment, and furniture, among other products. FPI may now sell to the District of Columbia government, including, for example, to its firefighters; nonfederal, governmental entities for use in correctional settings or in response to a disaster or emergency, such as local jails and first responders; and nonprofit organizations, such as universities. However, a lack of information makes it difficult to estimate the dollar value of these new markets. The following figure depicts the new markets made available to FPI. New Markets for Federal Prison Industries' Products under the First Step Act Data on the size of most of the new markets are very limited. For example, GAO found no existing national information to help estimate the size and scope of relevant spending by nonfederal entities on disaster relief and emergencies. Also, challenges related to state and local government operations, for example, could limit FPI's ability to sell products in the new markets made available under the First Step Act. Specifically, state-level prison industries and in-state vendors often have preferential access to many of the procurement markets now available to FPI. FPI and the private sector share some similar operating requirements, such as those related to keeping workers safe. They also face different requirements and business practices, such as those related to the legal framework, security, and costs. Available data indicate that buyers are generally satisfied with the delivery and quality of FPI products. GAO analyzed 231 performance reports on FPI in the federal government's database for contractor performance, as of August 2019. Customers rated FPI's performance in the delivery schedule and quality categories as exceptional, very good, or satisfactory on about 80 and 90 percent, respectively, of performance reports. There were too few ratings on cost to analyze them. FPI aims to assist inmates in their reentry into society by providing marketable job skills, but BOP has not reviewed FPI's impact on recidivism in over 2 decades. BOP relies on outdated studies that assessed the impact of FPI on inmates released in the 1980s. In January 2020, BOP cited a 1992 study as the basis for the Attorney General's designation of FPI as an Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction Program under the First Step Act 0f 2018 . BOP made a plan to evaluate FPI but the plan's timeline passed and the BOP has not set a new one. Without an updated plan for evaluating FPI, BOP continues to rely on outdated evaluations of FPI and has limited information about FPI's effectiveness amidst changes to its inmate population Additionally, while BOP has reported some descriptive statistics on recidivism rates, it has not developed a goal. Without a timeline for evaluation and a goal for reducing recidivism, BOP's ability to assess the effectiveness of FPI will be limited. FPI is a government owned corporation that, as a national reentry program, manages, trains, and rehabilitates inmates through employment. FPI sells inmate-produced goods and services primarily to federal government agencies. The First Step Act of 2018 authorized FPI to sell its products to new markets. A provision in the First Step Act of 2018 required GAO to review various aspects of FPI. This report addresses (1) the potential size and scope of the additional markets made available to FPI under the First Step Act; (2) the similarities and differences in selected requirements and business practices of FPI and private sector sellers of products and services; (3) customers' satisfaction with FPI regarding quality, price, and timely delivery of its products and services; and (4) the extent to which BOP has evaluated the effectiveness of FPI and other vocational programs in reducing recidivism and the results. GAO examined recidivism studies and data, analyzed performance data, conducted fieldwork at four FPI facilities selected based on security level and type of products produced, met with industry associations, and interviewed agency officials and employed inmates. GAO is making two recommendations: (1) BOP should update its evaluation plan for FPI by setting a new timeline for evaluation and (2) BOP should set a goal to reduce recidivism. DOJ concurred with the recommendations. For more information, contact Gretta L. Goodwin at (202) 512-8777 or goodwing@gao.gov or William T. Woods at (202) 512-4841 or woodsw@gao.gov.
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  • Briefing with U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman On the Ongoing Situation in Ethiopia
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • Financial Audit Manual: Volume 3, September 2021
    In U.S GAO News
    This publication supersedes GAO-18-626G, Financial Audit Manual: Volume 3, June 2018. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) maintain the GAO/CIGIE Financial Audit Manual (FAM). The FAM presents a methodology for performing financial statement audits of federal entities in accordance with professional standards and consists of three volumes. The FAM is a key tool for enhancing accountability over taxpayer-provided resources. FAM Volume 3 contains the Federal Financial Reporting Checklist. In addition to this volume, please see the other two volumes of the GAO/CIGIE FAM: Financial Audit Manual: Volume 1 (GAO-18-601G) contains audit methodology; Financial Audit Manual: Volume 2 (GAO-18-625G) provides detailed implementation guidance. For more information, please visit the main Financial Audit Manual page, or contact Dawn B. Simpson at (202) 512-3406 or SimpsonDB@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • [Request for Reconsideration of Protest of Army Bid Rejection]
    In U.S GAO News
    A firm requested reconsideration of its dismissed protest against the Army's rejection of its bid for whip antennas. GAO had held that the Army's corrective action rendered the protest academic. In its request for reconsideration, the protester contended that: (1) the Army enjoyed an improper relationship with the awardee and would improperly evaluate the protester's bid; and (2) it was entitled to reimbursement for its protest costs. GAO held that the: (1) protester's anticipation that the Army would act improperly did not constitute a valid basis for protest; and (2) protester was not entitled to reimbursement for its protest costs, since the Army acted promptly upon the protest. Accordingly, the request for reconsideration was denied and the claim was denied.
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  • Justice Department Settles With Texas Based Furniture and Appliances Chain for Charging Servicemembers Excess Interest
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Conn Credit I, LP, Conn Appliances, Inc., and Conn’s, Inc. (“Conn’s”), to resolve allegations that they violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) by charging at least 184 servicemembers excess interest on their purchases. 
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  • LyondellBasell Companies Agree to Reduce Harmful Air Pollution at Six U.S. Chemical Plants
    In Crime News
    Three U.S. subsidiaries of Dutch chemical giant LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Lyondell) have agreed to make upgrades and perform compliance measures estimated to cost $50 million to resolve allegations they violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution control laws at six petrochemical manufacturing facilities located in Channelview, Corpus Christi, and LaPorte, Texas, and Clinton, Iowa. Lyondell will also pay a $3.4 million civil penalty.
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  • Deutsche Bank Agrees to Pay over $130 Million to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Fraud Case
    In Crime News
    Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft (Deutsche Bank or the Company) has agreed to pay more than $130 million to resolve the government’s investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and a separate investigation into a commodities fraud scheme.
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  • Justice Department Secures Surrender of Over 500 Dogs from Iowa Dog Breeder and a Permanent Prohibition on Dealing in Animals
    In Crime News
    In a consent decree entered on Nov. 2 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Daniel Gingerich, an Iowa dog breeder, has agreed to revocation of his Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dealer license, a permanent prohibition on engaging in any activity that requires an AWA license, and the surrender of more than 500 dogs and puppies to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
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