亚利桑那州一前任官员贪赃枉法被判入狱

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政府官员本应为民服务,但如果他们贪赃枉法损害民众利益,则应该付出应有的代价。这就是本星期美国亚利桑那州(Arizona)出现的情况。


美联社(Associated Press)报道,亚利桑那州一名前任官员承认从该州为穷人提供健保的账户盗取钱财,为此被判入狱10年,同时需退回590万赃款,交还给纳税人。


本星期,现年64岁的迈克尔·约翰·维特(Michael John Veit)在法庭收到判决书。他在去年8月被解雇前负责管理亚利桑那州医疗照顾项目(Medicaid)办公用品采购等事务的合同,结果数百万美元资金落入了他朋友和家人的腰包,并没有用于公务开支。


检察官玛丽·麦加里(Mary McGary)指出,“他给别人的钱并不是他自己的钱。这一点千万不能忘记。”


在全世界范围内,每年腐败官员收受的贿赂或盗取的金钱达 $3.5 万亿美元 

欧巴马政府已加紧努力,要求未雨绸缪制止腐败行为,同时追回赃款,严惩腐败人员。去年,由于采取各项措施,打击腐败的行动追回了超过33.5 亿美元的钱款。这些钱款属于政府健保项目的不正当支出。


美国负责民主、人权和劳工事务的助理国务卿汤姆·马利诺夫斯基(Tom Malinowski)撰写的专栏文章强调,美国为打击腐败和贿赂采取了综合性措施 ,其中包括提高财务透明度,严格限制空壳公司等。


Fraud lands former Arizona official in prison


Public officials who steal from the people they are supposed to help should pay the price — and that’s what happened in Arizona this week.


A former Arizona official will go to prison for 10 years and have to pay back to taxpayers the $5.9 million he admitted stealing from a state health program for the poor, the Associated Press reported.


Michael John Veit, 64, received his sentence in court this week. Before he was fired last August, Veit oversaw office-supply and other contracts for the Arizona Medicaid program. Instead of paying for services, millions of dollars ended up with Veit’s friends and family.


“Always remember that the money he gave to others was not his to give,” Mary McGary, the prosecutor, said.


Worldwide, $3.5 trillion is paid every year in bribes or stolen by corrupt officials.


The Obama administration has stepped up efforts to stop fraud before it happens, recover fraudulent payments and prosecute fraudsters. Anti-fraud efforts recovered last year more than $3.35 billion that was improperly spent in government health care programs.


The U.S. agenda to fight corruption and bribery is comprehensive. It includes promoting financial transparency and tightly restricting shell companies, as highlighted in this column by Tom Malinowski, assistant U.S. secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor.


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