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Nearly $100M in Iraq funds not accounted for

| Thursday, May 5, 2005

U.S. civilian authorities in Iraq cannot properly account for nearly $100 million that was supposed to have been spent on reconstruction projects in southcentral Iraq, government investigators said Wednesday.

There are indications of fraud in the use of the $96.6 million, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. A separate investigation of possible wrongdoing continues.

More than $7 million of the total is unaccounted for, the report said. An additional $89.4 million in payments do not have the required supporting documents.

The report accused civilian contract managers of "simply washing accounts" to try to make the books balance. Staffing shortages and the quick turnover of those responsible for the cash contributed to the problems, the report said.

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