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Four high-ranking federal lab workers found a way to turn “per diem” funds for a temporary assignment into a steady flow of extra income at taxpayers’ expense.


1. Explain “per diem.”
2. Based on the article, approximately how much money did each scientist receive fraudulently, per year?
3. How was the scheme discovered and who will reimburse the Department of Energy?
4. What internal controls, if any, would have prevented this and are they among those being introduced? Discuss.


Leonnig, C.D. (2012). Energy Department Cuts Payments to Four Federal Lab Workers. The Washington Post, May 18 (Retrievable online at