The Al-Warka Bank was already having stability problems when the U.S. began to close all its accounts as part of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. After that some banking errors appeared and Army lost $6.5 million.
Pentagon’s internal inspector general said, “Since the Al-Warka Bank was placed in receivership in November 2010, the Army has been unable to readily withdraw cash.” The top brass is only now learning of the loss because the disbursing officer in charge of the funds never reported the loss, the IG said, “Because she believed she would recover these funds in the future.”
About $1.1 million has been repaid so far by the bank, inspectors said, but not getting the proper Defense Department debt payment experts involved immediately puts the rest of the cash at risk.
Investigators said, “As a result of not reporting a loss of funds, the risk of losing the remaining balance of $5.4 million increased.” Army officials also said that the disbursement officer and several other individuals have been reassigned to new posts, and that the U.S. Army Financial Management Command is working to recover the money.