The Investigations Section within the OIG is responsible for the detection and investigation of fraud, waste, and abuse within AmeriCorps programs and operations. Special Agents conduct various criminal, civil, and administrative investigations. Some of our criminal investigations are conducted in conjunction with other federal, state or local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations are presented to the U.S. Attorney and, in some cases, the local prosecutor, for criminal prosecution and/or civil recovery.

The Investigations Section also conducts fraud awareness briefings and provides a pamphlet entitled "OIG Investigations and You" which discusses AmeriCorps employees rights and responsibilities regarding investigations. Also, See;

The Investigations Section also maintains the Fraud Hotline which can be used to report fraud, waste and abuse involving AmeriCorps programs and operations.

Closed Investigations

Closed Investigations

VISTA Member Enrolled into the Program Using Another Person’s Identity

The OIG received information that a former VISTA member enrolled into the program using another person’s identity. Our investigation found that the VISTA member did steal another person’s identity which resulted in the embezzlement of $69,277.07 in Federal funds. Further investigation disclosed that the VISTA Program Director became aware of the VISTA member’s false identity and immigration status, after the fact, and allowed the member to continue to fraudulently receive Federal funds, serve in the program, and be promoted to supervisor.


As a result of the investigation, the former VISTA member plead guilty and was sentenced to six months of confinement for one count of Federal government program fraud and one count of theft of public monies and also ordered to pay restitution totaling $69,277.07.


Furthermore, Corporation debarred the former VISTA member from participating in Federal procurement and non-procurement programs for three years and the VISTA Program Director for two year.


Case ID: 2010-020

Officials at an AmeriCorps Program in Oregon Were Double Billing for Staff

The OIG received an allegation that program officials at an AmeriCorps program in Oregon were double billing staff salaries to both AmeriCorps State and National grants. The OIG reviewed the program’s financial records and found no irregularities in their accounting for staff salaries.


Case ID: 2011-018

This Investigation was Initiated Based on a Proactive Review of the Use of the Government Travel Cards

This investigation was initiated based on a proactive review of the use of the Government travel card by Corporation employees. Investigation disclosed an employee misused their card for personal use during periods when they were not on official travel. We identified 58 questionable transactions totaling more than $5,500. The results of the investigation were provided to Corporation management. As a result of our findings, the employee resigned.


Case ID: 2011-021

AmeriCorps Program in Michigan had Inflated AmeriCorps Members’ Service Hours

The OIG received information that a program director of an AmeriCorps program in Michigan had inflated AmeriCorps members’ service hours. We also received information that the program director was allowing AmeriCorps members to provide service outside of the grant provisions and those hours were being counted as qualifying service hours.

Our investigation disclosed evidence that, between August 2008 and July 2010, the program director inflated AmeriCorps members’ service hours and approved service hours for activities that were not in accordance with grant provisions.

The results of the investigation were submitted to Corporation management for action. In May 2011, it reported that it had reviewed our findings and agreed the program had submitted inflated member service hours or had credited hours for service outside the scope of the grant. The Corporation issued a demand payment letter to the program to return more than $19,000 in grant funds.


Case ID: 2010-032

A Hotline Complaint Alleging Misconduct by Program officials of a VISTA Program in West Virginia

The OIG received a hotline complaint alleging misconduct by program officials of a VISTA program in West Virginia. Our investigation disclosed there were no violations of law or regulations, but did note some financial irregularities. Our review of the grant close-out financial records disclosed the program expended 100 percent of its Federal program funds, including living allowances for eight full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members. Further inquiry disclosed that not all of the initial VISTA positions were filled and that some members did not complete their term of service.

Further investigation disclosed that program officials had submitted a request for an amendment to add additional VISTA members under the summer associate program. The request was approved by a Corporation program director and the excess funds were used to fund the additional VISTA members.


Case ID: 2011-006

Hotline Complaint that Officials of an RSVP Program in Louisiana Were Submitting False Timesheets

The OIG received a hotline complaint that officials of an RSVP program in Louisiana were submitting false timesheets by indicating they had completed a full day of work.

Our investigation disclosed the executive director of the program directed an employee to record on their timesheets that they had worked eight hours when, in fact, they had not. This action resulted in over $3,000 loss to the Government.

The matter was referred to Corporation management, which concurred with our findings and issued a demand payment letter to the program to repay the grant funds.


Case ID: 2011-007

Ohio Retired Senior Volunteer Program Relinquishes Grant

The OIG received information that AmeriCorps members in Illinois were using their education awards to purchase computers and other items from a community college bookstore. Our investigation determined that AmeriCorps members were enrolling in non-credit continuing education classes and using their education awards to purchase computers. We determined there was no wrongdoing as the provisions of 45 CFR 2528.10 allow such purchases as long as the members are enrolled at an institution of higher education.


Case ID: 2012-009

Volunteers in a Senior Companion Program in Tennessee Were Performing Services Not Authorized

The OIG received information that volunteers in a Senior Companion Program in Tennessee were performing services not authorized by the grant. Our investigation determined volunteers performed more than 600 hours of unauthorized service in the form of administrative duties for the program, which resulted in a $1,780 loss to the Government.

The matter was referred to Corporation management, which concurred with our findings and issued a demand payment letter to the program to repay the grant funds.


Case ID: 2011-030

AmeriCorps Program in Georgia was Failing to Properly Document the Eligibility and Background Checks

The OIG received information that an AmeriCorps program in Georgia was failing to properly document the eligibility and background checks of its’ AmeriCorps members. The investigations disclosed the files for AmeriCorps members lacked proper eligibility documents and documentation of National Sex Offender Public Registry or State criminal registry checks being conducted prior to the members’ enrollment date. The loss to the Government was $59,000 in education awards made to ineligible members.

The matter was referred to Corporation management, which agreed with our findings and issued a demand payment letter to the program to return more than $23,000 in grant funds.


Case ID: 2010-027

Executive Director in an AmeriCorps Program in Rhode Island Submitted False Monthly Financial Reports

The OIG received information that the executive director in an AmeriCorps program in Rhode Island submitted false monthly financial reports to obtain Federal program funds. Our investigation determined the executive director falsely reported the program had paid AmeriCorps members’ health insurance premiums so the program could obtain $135,000 in Federal program funds.

The matter was referred to DOJ for criminal prosecution. It was declined based on the low dollar amount. The matter was referred to Corporation management and it was determined no action would be taken.


Case ID: 2010-021