REPORT: Department of Defense employees rang up over $1 million in casino and strip club charges with no serious repercussions

Making a huge bet.
Erik de Castro/Reuters

Department of Defense personnel racked up over $1 million in casino and “adult entertainment” charges on their Pentagon-approved cards, according to a new report from the department’s inspector general.

Defense Department personnel charged the government for 900 “adult entertainment transactions,” totaling $96,576, and 4,437 casino transactions, totaling $952,258.

The report also says the department did not take “appropriate action” over the misuse of the cards. An audit of 30 cardholders who had the highest dollar amounts of “high-risk transactions” found that “no action” was taken to eliminate further misuse, according to The Guardian.

Twenty-two of the audited cardholders received “overpayments” totaling $8,544 when they requested reimbursements for their expenses.

The charge cards are generally used for expenses from government business, particularly travel – a far cry from strip clubs and gambling.

Among the more salacious details in the report, a Navy employee who spent $1,417 on “adult entertainment” was “retrained” and signed a new “statement of understanding” indicating that the employee could only use his card for “PG-13” purposes. No further action was taken.

Another Navy employee, who racked up $1,078 in “adult” charges, was handed a “nonpunitive letter of caution,” and is still able to use the government card.

The report says that the department “experienced potential national security vulnerabilities” as a result of the Defense Department’s lack of oversight over the spending.

Among the inspector general’s recommendations were to “improve the identification of personal use of the travel card,” and “improve the actions taken to eliminate travel card misuse by cardholders” by reducing credit limits and closely monitoring cardholders who had misused the cards.