PATRICK SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Upholding integrity and character are core values for all members of the Air and Space Forces, but one organization at Space Launch Delta 45 (SLD 45) has a distinct mission dedicated to the task. The fraud department of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) upholds integrity by rooting out corruption, protecting resources, and preserving warfighter safety and capabilities.
Since their stand up in early 2002, the fraud department has investigated 18 allegations totaling more than $6.4 million, recovering more than $534K for SLD 45. This achievement has been recognized at OSI command as the benchmark for base-level fraud programs. The fraud department credits its partnerships with organizations across Patrick SFB and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, as well and the support of SLD 45 leadership for its success in ensuring that public funds are spent responsibly.
As with all investigations, the OSI office accepts reports of suspected violations. The most common way that the fraud department is alerted to issues is by Airman and Guardian reporting. The first step in a suspected fraud case is to tell someone within the chain of command. If the case involves the chain of command, or the Airman or Guardian does not feel comfortable, they can bring it directly to OSI by visiting the office in-person, by calling the duty agent line 24/7 at 321-213-8482, or via email at AFOSI.FRAUD.TIPLINE@us.af.mil.
The fraud department provides training to help Airmen and Guardians identify possible fraud risks within their units, as well as identify internal controls they can implement.
According to Special Agent Ryan Ten Eyck, fraud department lead, insufficient oversight of the acquisition process is a common point of failure leading to potential fraud.
Examples of individualized briefing topics include healthcare fraud, product substitution, cost mischarging, defective pricing, and fraud in contracting. However, the fraud department can tailor training to other unique applications for each organization.
Ten Eyck says teamwork is critical to fraud investigations, “Fraud cases are very much like a string puzzle, as you pull a string and try to get to its core you find knots and other connections. It is very rewarding to get to the center of a complex fraud and show how the crime occurred.” Organizations are encouraged to reach out to the OSI duty line or email the fraud tip line to request training.