Audit: Inappropriate charges made to state cards

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - An audit conducted by the Maryland Department of Legislative Services raises red flags about spending involving state-issued credit cards.  The audit details questionable purchases made by at least four cardholders in the state system.  Those individuals spent $255,000 on items deemed inappropriate, including guitars, gift cards, clothes and more. 

The audit examined purchases made with state credit cards between 2009 and 2012.  During that timeframe, 1.5 million purchases were made on items worth $521 million.  The employees who made the purchases came from various agencies including a local health department, the Department of Juvenile Services, the Military Department and the University System of Maryland.

According to the report, one employee spent nearly $5,000 on gift cards.  Another worker spent more than $30,000 on 56 guitars as well as additional funds on toys, vitamins and clothing. 

The employees were all terminated following investigations into their spending.  Some have been sentenced to time in prison for their actions.  Supervisors who did not catch the fraudulent spending were also disciplined, with some retiring from state employment.

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