Honolulu FBI targets stimulus fraud with new hotline

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) A hotline for reporting fraud has been established by the Honolulu Federal Bureau of Investigation Thursday.

"History has shown that when large sums of money become available in the form of government contracts, a sizable percentage of that money can be lost to waste, fraud and abuse," said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Frank Montoya, Jr., who announced the establishment of the hotline.

The U.S. Congress enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in February of that year with the intention of creating jobs and promoting investment and consumer spending during the recession. The federal government spread $787 billion among all U.S. states and territories. The Hawaii hotline will help target fraud using these stimulus funds.

To date, the State of Hawaii has been awarded approximately $1.5 billion in stimulus funds.

According to the Website www.recovery.gov, top Hawaii recipients of ARRA funds include:

- Hawaii Department of Education - $203 million

- University of Hawaii Systems - $174 million

- Hawaii Department of Transportation - $151 million

- City and County of Honolulu - $85 million

- Executive Office of the State of Hawaii - $78 million

Anyone with information to provide regarding government contract fraud is encouraged to call the FBI Governmental Fraud Hotline at 808-545-2577.

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