Pentagon Spent $1M on 2 Washers
Crafty twin sisters bilked government out of $20.5 million over 6 years
By Daniel Kibblesmith,  Newser User
Posted Aug 16, 2007 2:34 PM CDT
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, gestures during a news conference at the Pentagon in this April 26, 2007 file photo. A spokesperson for the Pentagon Defense Logistics Agency said...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Twin sisters at a parts supplier scammed the Pentagon out of $20.5 million in fraudulent  shipping costs, including $998,798 they charged to ship two 19-cent washers and half a mil to ship three machine screws to Iraq. The Pentagon took six years to catch on to the sisters' tricks: Apparently bills marked "priority" were paid automatically.

The South Carolina-based contractors pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, after being barred from government contracts in December. The remaining sister—one has already died—has been fined $750,000 and will face a maximum of 20 years in prison.