A pair of left-wing groups misused hundreds of thousands of dollars in stimulus grant funds, according to federal investigators, who questioned the validity of every dollar the two groups received.
In a report released Monday, Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general raised concerns about $752,982 in stimulus disbursements to the now-defunct Prisoners Aid Association and the Baltimore-based Public Justice Center, citing shoddy accounting and violations of funding guidelines.
The two groups were sub-recipients of a stimulus grant designed to prevent homelessness and re-house the homeless. HUD gave more than $9.5 million to the city of Baltimore to administer the grant. The city contracted with United Way of Central Maryland, which selected the Public Justice Center and Prisoners Aid as sub-grantees.
Expense reports filed by Prisoners Aid showed it spent only $157,234 of the $270,550 it received from the city of Baltimore. That total was significantly less than the $392,982 in grant money Baltimore drew down for the Prisoners Aid grant.
What’s more, the group “could not produce participant files or records to support the $270,550 in grant funds it was paid,” according to the IG. The report questioned the entire $392,982 in grant funds.
Prisoners Aid recently folded in the midst of chronic financial problems. In July of last year, United Way terminated its relationship with the group. Frank Marchant, who took over as executive director in March of that year, said his predecessor had double-dipped in HUD grant money, billing expenses for the same participants to two different anti-homelessness programs, including the one examined in the most recent IG report.