Here we go again, another grant fraud scam involving UN (American taxpayer) money. (See the Maine case here). Maybe we should have a whole separate blog on scams! This time the woman charged is a pastor’s wife in Buffalo, NY. From the Buffalo News:
Deborah C. Bowers earned a sterling reputation as a minister’s wife, a literacy volunteer, an aid worker who helped poor children in Iraq and as a woman who helps refugees settle in Buffalo.
But she found herself in a surprising new role Tuesday — as the defendant in a wire fraud and money-laundering case filed by the U.S. Justice Department.
Federal agents and prosecutors claim Bowers and another defendant defrauded the United Nations by misusing about $65,000 of the $350,000 they received to fund an Iraq radio station that promotes women’s rights.
According to court papers, Bowers in March 2005 used $7,362 of the U.N. money to pay off her Visa credit card. Authorities claim the Visa bill was for “various personal expenses” unrelated to the radio station.
And the following month, authorities charge, Bowers used $7,219 of the U.N. money to pay property taxes that her co-defendant— identified as Steve S. Jabar — owed on two properties in the Town of Tonawanda.
Other instances of misusing U.N. money are also alleged in an indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Please read the whole article and learn more about her Iraqi Muslim partner and their defense. They say they were targeted by Homeland Security. Homeland Security says they don’t target people, just follow the money trail.
And then this:
The pastor said his wife is a deeply caring woman who traveled to Iraq to help poor children and has dedicated much of her life to helping refugees in the Buffalo area.
As in the Maine case, doesn’t being a caring person and having good intentions count for something?
By the way, here is the AP story on the case.