Pentagon credit cards used for escort services, says report

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A large number of Pentagon employees charged escort services and gambling fees to agency credit cards, according to a Politico review of a Defense Department audit. 

The government is not necessarily on the hook for those charges, an agency official told the news outlet, because employees are responsible for their own bills and only apply for reimbursements after the fact.

The report says that government credit cards were used at casinos, as well as for escort services and “adult activities.”

The government official told Politico that the employees could have been trying to hide the spending from their spouses and added that the revelation will most likely prompt a reminder of the agency’s policies. The report is expected to be released publicly in a few weeks.

President Obama signed the “Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act”, which was sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2012. That led to an Office of Management and Budget directive for stronger monitoring for improper charges and penalties for those who broke the rules.

Grassley told The Hill in a statement that the bill requires periodic audits, like this one, to ensure that agencies have strict rules on credit card abuse. 

"What I hope is that my reforms that became law have been implemented well and that agencies and auditors are using the reforms to catch problems," he said. 

"If everything is implemented as intended, we’ll stop a lot of purchase card and travel card abuse.” 

Updated at 5:15 p.m.