I guess "the check is in the mail" really doesn't work, even if you're the FBI.
The Associated Press is reporting that telephone companies have been cutting off FBI wiretaps used to listen in on suspected criminal activity because the agency has repeatedly failed to pay its phone bills on time. Yikes!
According to a Justice Department Audit, lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations is to blame for the plugs being pulled. The problem even allowed an agent to steal $25,000, according to the audit.
According to the audit by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine: "We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence."
The audit mentioned thousands of dollars of unpaid phone bills for surveillance efforts at multiple FBI offices around the country.